Few people realize it, but the K9 “deputies” in use by the Sheriff's Office, and much of their specialized equipment, are paid for entirely through the donations of private individuals and civic-minded business organizations. These unique dogs, which cost thousands of dollars each, are bred and trained for police work. The deputy sheriffs who work as K9 handlers undergo rigorous ongoing training with their K9 partners.The dogs not only assist with patrol operations on a daily basis, but their search and seizure skills are vital to detection and interdiction of narcotics, explosives, and other contraband. K9 teams make hundreds of arrests annually and their efforts lead to the seizure of large quantities of illegal drugs and contraband.
Deputies working as K9 handlers routinely visit county schools to introduce their K9 partners and reinforce the importance of public safety and the law. School Resource Officers in several school districts also provide an extra measure of on-campus safety and security and are a valuable presence for school administration officials and students alike.
The VCDSA members are active and retired sworn law enforcement personnel of both the Ventura County Sheriff's Office and the District Attorney's Bureau of Investigation. Members also include Deputy Sheriff Trainees, Provisional Deputy Sheriffs, and Reserve Deputies.
Currently, there are about 800 active duty and 350 retired members. A great majority of our members are Deputy Sheriffs, Senior Deputies, Sergeants and District Attorney Investigators. Management level members include the Sheriff, the Undersheriff, Assistant Sheriffs, Deputy Chief D.A. Investigators, Commanders and Captains.
The VCDSA represents the men and women who are trained to walk the toughest beat in the county, inside the county's jails. These law enforcement officers work in an area that houses many violent offenders such as murderers, gang members, and sexual predators. The VCDSA members include deputies, senior deputies, and sergeants who are responsible for providing security, enforcing laws, and housing inmates in the county jail system under the Detention Services Division. As a result of recent overcrowding and realignment, jails are operating over capacity and more dangerous inmates are now being housed at the county level instead of state prison.
The VCDSA members work as bailiffs and court security ensuring the safety and smooth operation of the Ventura County Superior Court system. Also, within the Court Services Division falls the Sheriff's Department Transportation Unit which is responsible for transporting inmates to the courts, throughout Ventura County and across the State of California.
Traffic safety enforcement is a critical aspect of policing.
Traffic violations are the single leading cause of traffic accidents and injuries. The skilled motorcycle officers employed by the Sheriff's Department in Thousand Oaks, Camarillo and elsewhere in the county are equipped to enforce traffic laws and also provide an extra margin of safety in response to emergency calls. These “motor” units are becoming more and more valuable assets as growing traffic congestion often prevents cars from reaching an incident scene.
The VCDSA members also participate in the Sheriff's Department Special Services program which include Major Crimes Investigations, Narcotics Investigations, Intelligence & Vice Investigations, Hostage Negotiations Team, SWAT, and Bomb Squad.
The highly skilled members of the Sheriff's Bomb Squad are trained to detect, disarm, and neutralize all types of explosive devices.The Squad's technologically advanced equipment includes explosive “sniffing” devices and a remote controlled robot; however, the risk to personnel can never be completely eliminated. These deputies are called to assist all county agencies when suspicious packages and possible bombs are detected. The members of the special Weapons And Tactics (SWAT) team are committed to maintaining the highest level of skill in every aspect of critical incident interdiction so that, when called upon, they can perform their demanding missions with minimal risk to civilians and fellow officers. Because of the nature of their operations, these dedicated public servants are always ready to place themselves in harm's way countywide to protect others.
The Ventura County Criminal Justice Training Center provides recruit training and general law enforcement training to thousands of men and woman every year. The Academy operates in conjunction with the Ventura County Community College District to provide Basic Training in accordance with the guidelines set by the Commission on Peace Officers Standards and Training (POST). The Training Center also provides ongoing in-service courses in over a hundred topics, such as firearms, defensive tactics, officer safety, investigations, communications and leadership. The Sheriff's Training Center is known and respected throughout California for the high quality of its instruction and the high quality of the officers who pass through its doors.
Among the members of the the VCDSA are more than forty District Attorney Investigators employed by the Ventura County District Attorney’s Office. The assignments of these highly trained investigators include Major Crimes, Sexual Assault/Family Protection, Gangs/Firearms, Major Fraud, Government Fraud, Intelligence, and Child Abduction. The primary role of the D.A. Investigators is to assist Deputy District Attorneys in investigating and preparing criminal cases for trial. This often includes locating key witnesses and securing witness statements, developing additional physical evidence, executing search warrants, finding experts, locating informants, and conducting all other follow-up investigations necessary to ensure proof beyond a reasonable doubt. In addition, D.A. Investigators obtain and develop evidence of new criminal offenses resulting in direct criminal filings and Grand Jury indictments, and they assist other local law enforcement agencies with officer involved shootings, crime scene analysis, gang sweeps, probation searches and wiretaps.