Lake Forest


Sheriff's Non-Emergency Dispatch:
714-647-7000 or 949-770-6011


Lieutenant Brad Valentine
Chief of Police Services
City of Lake Forest
949-461-3541

City of Lake Forest Overview

Lake Forest, formerly known as the unincorporated area of El Toro, is located in South Orange County between the cities of Irvine and Mission Viejo. The community was settled in the late 1800s and incorporated as a city on December 20, 1991. The communities of Foothill Ranch and Portola Hills became part of Lake Forest in 2000. With 78,000 residents that encompass almost 17 square miles, Lake Forest offers beautifully planned communities set against the Saddleback Mountains, dedicated parks for recreation or just to relax, and planned commercial areas for shopping and business. With over 3,200 acres of dedicated open space, Lake Forest has seventeen parks, including the Whiting Ranch Wilderness Park. Lake Forest also has a high school, an intermediate school and nine elementary schools within the city.

The City of Lake Forest joins nine neighboring cities in South Orange County and two cities in North Orange County that contract with the Orange County Sheriff's Department for law enforcement. Staff includes five Sergeants, three Investigators, 38 Deputies, an Investigative Assistant, five Community Services Officers, and a Crime Prevention Specialist. Services provided through the City include direct and preventative patrol, a Special Enforcement Team, Traffic Enforcement (motorcycle and commercial), a deputy assigned to the regional Directed Enforcement Team, School Resource Officers, Bike Patrol, Neighborhood and Business Watch programs, as well as emergency preparedness classes for the community. In addition to these services offered directly from Lake Forest Police Services, the sheriff’s department also provides street and regional narcotics suppression programs, a Gang Enforcement Team, Mounted Unit, Special Weapons and Tactics Team (SWAT), Hostage Negotiations, the Drug Use is Life Abuse drug prevention program, and a complement of patrol-trained Reserve Deputy Sheriffs, many of whom volunteer their time for city events such as the Annual 4th of July Parade.

Lake Forest enjoys a low crime rate, and was recognized by a national firm as the 7th safest city in the United States (of cities with populations between 75,000 and 100,000) for 2010. Overall, Lake Forest was ranked as 10th safest of all cities. This is a result of the working relationship between the residents of the city, its Council, and the Sheriff’s Department.

Part 1 Crime Stats for the City of Lake Forest

Crime 2011 2012 % Change
Homicide 2 0 -100%
Rape 1 8 700%
Robbery 22 20 -9%
Assault 64 79 23%
Burglary 140 227 62%
Larceny 763 798 5%
Auto-Theft 44 63 43%