About the Orange County Sheriff’s
The history of Orange County goes
back further than the past 100 years and is a tribute to the adventurous spirit, personal drive and tremendous courage of
the early explorers and settlers who's vision and fortitude made cities where there were only dreams. In any society, there
are always challenges, but the pioneer men and women who forged Orange County out of a barren land had the courage to overcome
the obstacles that stood in their path.
It wasn’t until California
became a state in 1850 that formal law enforcement institutions, based on the common law of England, became established. Even
then, Southern California was a lawless society until the 1870s, plagued by rustlers, highwaymen, murderers, robbers and swindlers.
Many made their headquarters in Los Angeles, blatantly defying the law and its traditional keepers-sheriff, jailor, judge
and jury. Impromptu, poorly organized vigilante groups supplemented formal law enforcement officials, often taking the law
into their own hands, but even these groups were ineffective.
The growth of communities, the increase
in the number and proximity of small farms and the improvement of both education and communication systems finally brought
lawlessness under control. Each formal community had its marshal, its constable and its judge and when Orange County was formed
in 1889, its citizens had a sheriff, directly responsible to them, and a new set of institutions right in their own backyard.
The Orange County Sheriff’s
Department today is a highly professional organization, which not only continues in its traditional role of crime suppression,
but also has expanded into the area of crime prevention. At the Orange County Sheriff’s Department you can see the spirit
of adventure and the same courage as the early settler had.
Orange County is a place where dreams have
become a reality