The Sheriff’s Department in San Carlos: Two Months Later.

January 12, 2011

Checking In.

It was just over two months ago that the San Mateo County Sheriff's Department took over responsibility for police service in San Carlos.  To many who live in San Carlos, that event almost seemed like a non-event.  Some people that I talked with about the transfer of service weren't even aware that the change had finally taken place.   That perception, in the eyes of the City Council,  must be great news.  It's exactly what they were hoping for — the same (or better) service, and a savings of $2M annually.

Last week, Michelle Durand wrote an excellent article about how the transformation is taking place within the Sheriff's Department's San Carlos Bureau.   It sounds as if the change has been overwhelmingly positive internally, and there's even talk about bringing back programs that have been shuttered years ago due to ongoing budget cuts.  That's all very good.

What Do You Think?

So.. the City Council seems happy with the change in service, and the Sheriff's Department has welcomed the new responsibility with open arms.   But what about the citizens of San Carlos?   What is your perception of the police service in San Carlos now that the Sheriff's Department took over the helm?  Have you noticed a difference in visibility or service since the change?  Are you seeing more police presence?  Or less?  Or no difference?

I'm not sure if I can chalk this up to my heightened awareness, but it seems to me that police presence has actually increased since the change — especially in two areas:   Traffic enforcement, and parking enforcement.  The meter maids seem to be patrolling downtown again with fanatical efficiency, and I've noticed quite a bit more emphasis on traffic enforcement — both in enforcing speed limit laws, and cracking down on “California stops” at some of the busier intersections.

I have even seen the deep resources of the Sheriff's Department at work at a recent “altercation” outside of one of San Carlos' more popular night spots.   In addition to the normal efficient response, they were now able to back-fill with units from the Sheriff's canine unit — something that was only a luxury before.

So what do you think of the change?   Register your thought in the new poll in the right sidebar of the blog, or leave a comment below.

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  1. Joanne on January 13, 2011 at 6:10 pm

    I have to admit I was one of those skeptics. Maybe it was the loss of pride in losing our own police department. I haven’t seen a negative change and perhaps all the other small cities will consolidate all city services to face the upcoming budget crisis.

  2. Chuck Gillooley on January 24, 2011 at 3:34 pm


    You’re probably not alone in those sentiments. There are many who probably feel the same way about losing control of the police department, and equally as many who lament the certain loss of our own fire department later this year. But it seems to be a sign of the times – Belmont just determined that they can’t sustain their own fire department indefinitely either, without an increase in tax revenue. So I fully expect that you’ll start to see more cities going toward the regionalization path for public safety. I predict you’ll see a county-wide fire department (Not CAL-FIRE) in 10 years. Thanks for your comment, and sorry for the delay in getting it posted…my spam filter has been extremely aggressive lately.

  3. Jim on February 20, 2011 at 5:06 am

    What is going on in San Carlos?? So many burglaries and houses being broken into.

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