We will be updating this page with more information regarding our counties Police Departments. Until then, please use the links below.
The Santa Cruz Police Department began with incorporation of the city in 1866. Robert Liddell was the first police chief and he served a one man department until 1888 when the department grew to three men. It wasn’t until 1917 that the first motor unit took to the streets of Santa Cruz. The SCPD uniforms have changed over the years. The first uniforms were a military style jacket (dark blue), a hat, and badge. In the 1950’s the uniform changed to a light blue and the first patch was put into service by the then Assistant Chief Ernie Marenghi. This patch is still used today according to the SCPD history page. 1991 saw yet another uniform change when the department went back to a dark blue uniform to be more inline with other state agencies. Since the development of the department in 1866, there have been twenty-three SCPD Chiefs. Fore more historical information please visit SCPD/A_History.
The Watsonville Police Department began its long history back in 1868. Watsonville was incorporated in 1868 as well. The first law enforcement officers were actually Town Marshals who would patrol the streets and keep order. Prior to Watsonville building its own jail (1869) prisoners were usually tied to trees or kept under guard at local motel rooms. In 1937, a larger jail and police department were constructed at 231 Union St. In 1982, the police department moved to its still current location at 215 Union St. The first Police Chief was F.A. Rassette. He was elected and appointed on 5/11/1903. Manny Solano is the current Police Chief. More information can be found by clicking here.
The Scott’s Valley Police Department began in November 1966. Gerald Pittenger was a key player in the establishment of the SV Police Department. He served as the departments first officer from November 1966 to July 1967. During this time the Police Department didn’t even have an official vehicle until December 1966. Throughout Chief Pittneger’s career with the SV Police Department he started such programs as the juvenile program, motorcycle patrol, canine patrol, investigations, and the reserve program. Chief Pittenger served from the departments inception in November 1966 to 1986. Chief Walpole served as the Chief of Police from 1986-2002. Chief Thomas Bush served from 2001-2002. Chief Steven Lind served from 2002-2006. Current Chief is John Weiss 2006-Present.
The Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Department dates back to 1850. The first Sheriff of Santa Cruz County was Francisco Alzina. Alzina served from 1850-1853.