The Professional Standards Division falls within the Support Services Bureau. It is commanded by a Captain, with individual components managed by a Sergeant. The position works closely with an Assistant Sheriff and the Director of Personnel. The Division is responsible for a number of functions that include recruiting, background investigations, hiring, public information, Public Record Act requests, and department safety.
Supervised by the Backgrounds Sergeant, this unit is the liaison for
Supervised by the Backgrounds Sergeant, staff in this Unit conduct background investigations of applicants for the Office of the Sheriff by interviewing employers, co-workers, neighbors, law enforcement officials, military personnel, members of candidates’ family and personal references; prepare reports on findings; conducts polygraph examinations; make recommendations as to background findings; and performs other related duties.
Public Affairs Unit
The Public Affairs Unit is supervised by the Public Affairs Director. The position, by design, is the department spokesperson (Police Information Officer) and is the primary media contact.
Staff currently includes a professional photographer. The goal is to use staff, communication tools and services to provide effective, proactive and consistent communications between the Office of the Sheriff, the communities it serves and the media.
The Public Affairs Unit has a number of key functions: media relations, internal communications, community relations, crime prevention, crisis communications, media training, video production, photography, special projects and social media (Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube).
The Public Affairs Unit places a strong emphasis on following relevant laws, customer service, and responsiveness as it strives to keep the internal and external audiences informed about the Office of the Sheriff.
Planning and Research Unit
The Planning and Research Unit sometimes referred to as the Legal Unit, is managed by the Captain. Staff includes a Sheriff’s Specialist and a Special Assistant to the Sheriff. This Unit is responsible for maintaining the General Policy and Procedure Manual, responding to Public Records Act requests, overseeing the U-visa process and appearing in court on behalf of the Sheriff’s Office on Pitchess motions, weapons confiscation hearings, and miscellaneous subpoenas.
In addition, the unit reviews all claims and lawsuits against the Office and is a direct link to County Counsel and Risk Management.