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 Photo of Emergency Services Support Unit-Volunteers

The Emergency Services Support Unit (ESSU) houses both Volunteer Services and Law Enforcement Mutual Aid.

Volunteer Services provides equipment, personnel and other logistical support, 24/7, to support planned and unplanned Sheriff’s Office operations, as well as other agencies throughout the county.  The Emergency Services Support Unit coordinates activities for the following volunteer service branches:

  • Air Squadron
    Pilots and observers provide air operations support to the Office of the Sheriff. Pilots provide their own aircraft and pay for all maintenance of their aircraft.  Services include transportation, surveillance, logistics, and disaster response.

  • Law Enforcement Cadets
    The program offers our youth and young adults experience and training regarding law enforcement. Cadets participate in public events, search and rescue, traffic enforcement, and community service.

  • Chaplains
    The Chaplaincy Program provides support and comfort to the law enforcement community and the public. Chaplains are available to provide guidance and counseling in times of crisis. 

  • Communications Unit 
    The Unit provides alternate communication to the operational area via licensed amateur radio operators in the event of an emergency or disaster. Members also support Search and Rescue, the County Fair Contract, and other ESSU public outreach events.

  • Dive Team
    Members are accomplished and certified rescue divers available to assist the Office of the Sheriff with events that necessitate the need to dive into bodies of water.  Services include evidence collection, victim recovery, hazardous object removal, inspections, and disaster response.

  • Food Service Unit
    The unit provides food service to support field operations of the Office of the Sheriff during training or actual events.

  • Mutual Aid Mobile Support Team (MAMST)
    This unit provides support in the form of deployment and equipment supply and maintenance for the Mutual Aid Mobile Field Force, Search and Rescue, and the Special Weapons and Tactics Team.

  • Reserve Deputy Sheriffs
    Members have varying levels of training and experience. Reserve Deputy Sheriff’s volunteer time in a capacity set by California Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training (P.O.S.T) and Sheriff’s Policy guidelines.  Reserves assist with in-custody transportation, patrol and detention augmentation, and special patrol programs (DUI checkpoints, off road patrol, etc.), and other special events.

  • Search and Rescue
    Members are trained volunteers who can be summoned to assist the Sheriff’s Office and other agencies during events such as missing or at-risk persons, evidence collection, public events, and disaster response.

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  • Sheriff’s All Volunteer Extended Services (SAVES)
    Diverse community members with a variety of skill sets who assist our office with the delivery of logistical and clerical support, mostly in field operations and administrative assignments.

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For more information on volunteering with the ESSU,
please call (925) 646-4461.



Law Enforcement Mutual Aid

Mutual Aid is coordinated between the Law Enforcement Region II (Alameda County Sheriff’s Office), the California Office of Emergency Services, and the agencies within Contra Costa County. Law enforcement mutual aid requests are received by the Office of the Sheriff Mutual Aid Coordinator, who dispatches appropriate resources to the requesting agencies.