On March 11, 1889, California Governor Waterman signed legislation necessary for the creation of Orange County from of the southern portion of Los Angeles County. Since then, the Orange County landscape has changed from three small cities and citrus groves, to 32 incorporated cities and a diverse population of well over two million. Most of the agriculture has been replaced with high-tech industry and new homes, but all the while, Orange County has remained one of the most desirable places to live in Southern California.
The Orange County Sheriffs Department has also changed since its inception in 1889. It began with an elected sheriff and small group of men enforcing the law on horseback and has developed into the respected department it is today employing over 1460 sworn deputies and over 1446 civilian personnel.
The "Six-shooter" has been replaced with modern weapons and tactics, and the horse is no longer the primary mode of transportation, but the desire to provide effective, efficient law enforcement has not changed. The Sheriff’s Department serves all of the citizens of Orange County. With its seventeen divisions, the department maintains custody of over 5000 prisoners, polices nine of the cities within the county as well as the unincorporated areas, patrols the harbors, county transit system, and the John Wayne Airport, and stands ready to augment fellow law enforcement agencies when needed. The Orange County Sheriff’s Department provides career opportunities which are unmatched by many law enforcement agencies.
In the early days of the department, the Sheriff would rely on the upstanding citizens of the community when he needed to form a posse and track down a wanted villain. Over 100 years later, the sheriff still looks for upstanding members of society to become deputies and enforce the law.