The Air Support Unit plays a vital role in supporting patrol operations, narcotics enforcement and search & rescue missions for the Stanislaus County Sheriff's Department. With pilots, tactical flight officers, maintenance and support personnel as part of the team, this unit is very active.
Pilot Rob Latapie, Pilot/Detective Roy Pettit, and the maintenance team all work very hard to provide a safe, quality level of service to law enforcement and citizens region wide. The Air Support Unit is a valuable resource for the department and law enforcement agencies in the area.
The Callanish Pipe Band serves as the Stanislaus County Sheriff's Honor Guard Pipes and Drums. Callanish is a community pipe band based in Modesto, California. Callanish members are from various communities within the Stanislaus County area. Instrumentation consists of bagpipes, side drums (snare), tenor drums (toms), and bass drum.
Callanish has played for the Sheriff's Regional Training Center Academy Graduation ceremony, funerals, graduations, parades, major and minor league sporting events, and other special activities including the annual Blue Mass, a ceremony sponsored by the Knight's of Columbus, honoring all First Responders (Police, Fire, Paramedics, and Sheriff’s Department). The Blue Mass brought together multiple pipe bands that played to honor those in uniform. We are proud to provide this service to those who keep us safe.
Explosives Ordinance Disposal Team (Bomb Squad)
The Explosives Ordinance Disposal Team (more commonly referred to as the Bomb Squad) currently consists of five trained hazardous device technicians. They are prepared and available to aid law enforcement agencies in Stanislaus County with the handling, disposal and investigation of explosive devices and suspected explosive devices.
The unit responds to 60-70 calls for service each year. Each of the members has other regularly assigned duties in Patrol, Court Services, Etc. and is available on an on-call basis to handle incidents involving suspected explosives.
If you locate a suspicious item or package that you believe may involve explosives, contact your local law enforcement agency or call 911 for assistance.
Correctional Emergency Response Team (C.E.R.T.)
The Stanislaus County Sheriff's Department CERT became operational in November 2009. The creation of CERT was in response to the ever increasing level of violence demonstrated by inmates. One of the most challenging and potentially violent environments is corrections. In addition to increasing violence, we're faced with a more difficult classification of inmate and an inmate population that requires a greater level of health care and mental health care. Maintaining the safety and security of our correctional facilities is a high priority as is the care of those who are incarcerated. Appropriate and proper classification and supervision is critical along with on-going training and employment of well qualified, experienced staff. Our CERT is a well trained team of dedicated professionals who understand the challenges of public safety.
The Sheriff's Department Chaplain Program is a volunteer unit that creates a partnership with various faith-based leaders of a community to respond and assist the Sheriff's Department and other law enforcement agencies providing an overall better quality to the citizens of the county and the communities we serve. By having the Sheriff's Department working with the clergy during times of crisis or incidents, the goal is to provide a more comprehensive response to those in need.
The role of the chaplain is to provide support for deputies and civilians in their time of need. Chaplains are there to provide appropriate assistance, advice, comfort, counsel and referals to those who request support. The faith-based leaders will perform tasks of a more emotional, social, or spiritual nature allowing the deputies to focus their efforts on law enforcement.
The Stanislaus County Sheriff's Department Dive Team started in 1972 with the members using basic SCUBA diving equipment and very little training. Most of the equipment belonged to the members themselves. Eventually, the Sheriffs Department began purchasing tanks and other more modern equipment. During the past few years the team has seen big improvements in the equipment both in safety and technology. New departmental policies have been implemented to make dive call-outs safer and more efficient. The new "High Tech" equipment recently acquired includes; a mini Remotely Operated underwater Vehicle (ROV), Sonar and Rigid helmets or “Hard Hats” to perform surface-supplied dives.
Currently, the Dive Team consists of twelve members, a sergeant and a lieutenant. The Team’s duties are to recover evidence, recover victims, assist in investigations involving items being placed into the water, and perform swift water rescues. On the average, the Dive Team responds to 20 to 25 calls a year. Sometimes dive calls are as easy as recovering a partially submerged car, or as complex as an extensive search in zero visibility water fighting swift currents and unknown hazards. Due to the level of training and expertise possessed by members of the Dive Team, the Team is often requested by neighboring counties for mutual aid.
Being on the dive team isn’t recreation diving. The Dive Team members put in a lot of training, self-discipline and time to make each dive a successful and safe one. The Dive Team trains on a monthly basis and Dive Team members have been trained and qualified in open water diving, advanced open water diving, search and rescue, advanced search and rescue and swift water rescue. All members complete a course in Public Safety Diving, through a nationally recognized Public Safety Diving training agency. Some of the members have other specialized training that they either procured themselves or gained through the Sheriffs Department. The Dive Team is currently listed as an OES Type 2 Dive Team.
If you are involved in an incident where the Dive Team may be activated, your observations of the incident will be greatly appreciated. This will make the investigation of the incident and recovery proceed smoother and will possibly decrease the amount of time involved by the Dive Team and other involved agencies.
EXPLORER POST #226
The Stanislaus County Sheriff's Explorer Program is designed to introduce teens and young adults to the various opportunities available in the field of law enforcement. Our post is chartered by the Boy Scouts of America and is coordinated by members of Sheriff Adam Christianson's staff.
As an Explorer, you will be trained in a variety of areas to help you better understand the field of law enforcement. The Stanislaus county Sheriff's Department has many unique and important areas of responsibility.
Explorers are required to attend regularly scheduled meetings as directed by the Explorer Program Coordinator. These mandatory meetings are typically held on the weekends, twice a month, at the Sheriff's Department on Hackett Road. There is a six (6) month probationary period for all new Explorers accepted into the program.
Explorers do not carry weapons or engage in direct law enforcement activities. They do not carry handguns, batons, pepper spray or other less than lethal weapons. Explorers are not peace officers and are not authorized to make arrests. The primary goal of an Explorer is to observe and learn from trained professionals in our agency. New Explorers are required to spend their first 48 hours working in the jail before they are eligible to ride with a deputy on patrol.
Most participants have the opportunity to learn in a wide range of interactive environments including patrol operations, investigation, custody facilities, records/technology, and administrative services. Explorers are given the chance to work side-by-side with a full time Deputy Sheriff while on patrol.
There are also many interesting and exciting special units with their own unique responsibilities. Explorers who have learned the basics and earn a position of responsibility often become involved in training and response by the following highly specialized units:
• DIVE & SWIFT WATER RESCUE TEAM
• SPECIALIZED WEAPONS AND TACTICS TEAM
• CANINE UNIT
• MOUNTED POSSE UNIT
• CORONER'S OFFICE
• AIR SUPPORT UNIT
• HONOR GUARD
• IDENTIFICATION & CRIME SCENE INVESTIGATION UNIT
HOW DO I QUALIFY?
The Sheriff has developed the Explorer Program for young men and women between 16 and 21 years old who have a serious interest in the law enforcement career field.
Continuing your education is a must for everyone interested in the program. Applicants must be enrolled in high school or college and be in good academic standing. You must maintain a 2.0 grade point average. College students are required to be enrolled in at least 9 credit units. The Sheriff's Department will require education verification on a regular basis.
WHAT HAPPENS WHEN I APPLY?
Once you apply for an Explorer position, you will be evaluated in an informal oral-board interview. We ask questions about your interests, education and why you'd like to become a member of the Explorer team. If you are successful with your interview, a Voice Stress Analyzer will be administered and an employment background investigation will be conducted to make sure you have a clean record.
Fill out the Interest Form and Mail or Deliver to:
Stanislaus County Sheriff's Department
Background / Recruitment Unit
250 E. Hackett Rd.
Modesto, CA 95358
The Honor Guard is the formal representative of the Executive Office of the Sheriff and the Sheriff's Department at all types of functions in Stanislaus County including funerals, graduations, parades, major and minor league sporting events, and other special activities. The deputies who comprise the Honor Guard come from military and non-military backgrounds. Each deputy must have discipline and stamina and present a professional appearance on a daily basis. Joining the Honor Guard is voluntary but very competitive. The Honor Guard practices monthly and drills before every event. In rain or shine, heat or cold, the Honor Guard maintains its strict composure, precise military bearing, and meticulous attention to detail.
For more information, please email Sgt. John Campbell, Honor Guard Supervisor at
The Stanislaus County Sheriff's Department Canine Unit exists for no other reason than to:
• Provide a high level of quality service
• Provide protection to our community
• Provide support to field deputies
The K-9 Unit has evolved from two handlers and two dogs in 1981. The original handlers were Detective Lydell Wall and Sgt. Lloyd Allen, their respective canines were Si and Bean. Today, the unit consists of eight handlers, eight canines, a unit supervisor and unit commander. The canine unit is dedicated to professional service through high standards of weekly training and on-going education of handlers and trainers.
The Stanislaus County Sheriff's Department K-9 Unit provides trained police dogs and handlers 24-hours a day. The canine team is proud to be a daily utilized special unit provided to the community.
The goal of the K-9 Unit is to protect the citizens, apprehend suspects and add to the safety of the deputies. Services include:
• Apprehension of criminal offenders
• Locate missing persons
• Searches of buildings and property
• Provide crowd control
• Provide public awareness demonstrations
These services are provided through the daily patrol activities and through educational and public demonstrations.
The Mounted Unit was established in 1973 by several members of the Sheriff's Department who were horse enthusiasts. Its origins can be traced back to the need to restore order, with a minimal number of Deputies, at the Annual La Grange Rodeo. After two years of training, the unit was approved for operation by Sheriff Dan Kelsay. Since that time the Mounted Unit has grown to the current level of 10 members, and at one time had 20 members. The Mounted Unit typically averages over 50 deployments (working details) per year.
The Mounted Unit primarily functions as a crowd control unit, helping to maintain or restore order at large crowd events such as; the Stanislaus County Fair, Riverbank Cheese and Wine Festival, Patterson Apricot Fiesta, various music concerts, etc. The Mounted Unit is an effective force multiplier and allows the peace to be kept with fewer number of Deputies onscene. Effective crowd management at these events helps to ensure that the events are kept peaceful and orderly, so that all those in attendance can enjoy them with friends and family.
In addition to the above, the Mounted Unit performs high visibility patrols in areas where it is beneficial to use horses such as; Woodward and Modesto Reservoirs (where crowds of over 50,000 during the holidays are the norm), Knight's Ferry Peddler's Fair, Crossroads Shopping Center during the holidays, etc.
The Mounted Unit also functions as a search and rescue resource having participated in multiple past search and rescue missions.
The Mounted Unit has historically participated in ceremonial and public relations events as well. These functions include the Annual Stanislaus County Peace Officer's Memorial, Annual California Peace Officer's Memorial, parades, school functions, etc. Unfortunately, budgetary constraints have greatly diminished the unit's attendance at these events.
In the late 70's and early 80's Special Weapons And Tactics (SWAT) and Hostage Negotiation Teams (HNT) were just coming to the forefront as effective tools for law enforcement in their attempt to achieve peaceful resolution in critical incidents. In 1980, knowing the crucial role these teams would play in ensuring the safety of the citizens of the County of Stanislaus, the Stanislaus County Sheriff's Department implemented the SWAT and Hostage Negotiation Teams. Over the last 20 years the two teams have continued to work successfully together toward the peaceful resolution of critical incidents, ensuring the safety of law enforcement personnel, the citizens of this community, and the suspect(s) involved. Where there is chaos, together we stabilize and contain the incident so we can get the suspect(s) past their immediate crisis. Each team member has different roles, with the same objective in mind; preservation of life, apprehension of the hostage taker/barricaded subject, seeking a peaceful resolution, restoring order, and the recovery or protection of property without the use of force whenever possible.
SWAT officers are specially trained personnel who are called upon in situations requiring expertise, tactics and equipment beyond what is normally used by field deputies. Because of the nature of SWAT incidents, the tasks listed represent some of the activities performed by SWAT.
Missions assigned to SWAT include:
• Narcotic Search Warrant Service
• Barricaded Persons, Sniper Incidents
• Hostage Rescue
• Vehicle Assaults
• High-Risk Surveillance
• High-Risk Arrests
• Personal Protection Details
SWAT goes through rigorous training put on by the Federal Bureau of Investigations. However, there wasn't any formal training for the Hostage Negotiators, other than on the job training, until a few years after the teams' birth. There is now a course put on by San Jose State University and the Federal Bureau of Investigations. Our team trains once a month separately, and twice a year with SWAT. We also maintain a relationship with surrounding law enforcement agencies' negotiation teams, training with them bi-annually.
As a negotiator you must possess the ability to listen and empathize with people from all walks of life. And through the combination of effective oral communication and listening skills, relay in a convincing manner to diffuse crisis incidents. Hostage Negotiators must possess excellent interview skills, easily establish credibility with others, be able to communicate with persons from the lowest to the highest socioeconomic class, possess practical intelligence, common sense, and be street-wise, able to cope with uncertainty, understand lives are in imminent danger and will have to assist in the planning to rescue the hostages.
Our HNT is faced with all manner of disturbed, depressed and deadly people. While their chief duty is to prevent murders and suicides, hostage negotiators must also speak on behalf of both the criminals and hostages. In a hostage situation, many lives can be at stake. It is critical for the hostage negotiators to both analyze the situation and try to bring about a nonviolent resolution.
Our negotiators have proven to be extremely valuable members of the Critical Incident Response Team. Interactions between the negotiation team, and the SWAT team is critical. Together, they have successfully and safely resolved several critical incidents. Negotiators represent the line that separates a peaceful resolution from the tactical option.
Our hostage negotiators are dedicated professionals who continue to function in this role because they care about the people in this community. They are here to serve, and are committed to resolving incidents without injury or loss of life to anyone.
When not negotiating with bank robbers or individuals wanting to take their own lives, our hostage negotiators share many of the same duties as a regular Deputy Sheriff. Our team is comprised of seven members plus a Sergeant. Negotiators also assist SWAT with all callouts and stand by should a situation require their services.
The STARS program is a volunteer program in which active adult citizens give of their time, knowledge, and life experiences*. The STARS volunteers, working hand in hand with the Sheriff's Department, will be able to provide a variety of new services and enhance current programs for the betterment of the community.
"Our STARS program is thriving. This group of dedicated adult citizens continually support our mission to keep the community safe. Their contributions to our Department and all the citizens of Stanislaus County are truly commendable."
~ Sheriff Adam Christianson
• To organize citizens in a volunteer program to benefit the community.
• Use volunteers to promote better community safety.
• Become "eyes and ears" for law enforcement.
• Promote the STARS motto: "As volunteers we can make a difference by improving the community welfare and safety."
STARS Volunteers Must:
• Be at least 22 years of age.
• Be able to commit up to 10 hours of volunteer time each month.
• Pass a limited background investigation.
• Have a desire to make this a better community in which to live.
Benefits of the STARS Program include:
• Community programs that otherwise would not exist
• Enhancement of existing programs
• Safety at schools
• County resources being used to their fullest
• Assistance to seniors
• A community feeling of safety and togetherness
• Make use of valuable community resources
*The Sheriff's Department now accepts volunteers from any age group from 22 years and older.
For More Information Call 209-558-8930
THE APPLICATION PROCEDURE
Working in conjunction with the Stanislaus County Office of Volunteer Services, potential volunteers are provided with job descriptions for the STARS program. Those who show a further interest are given an application package which contains application, confidentially, release, and waiver forms. The applicant then meets with the Sheriff's Department Crime Prevention Coordinator who explains the program in more detail and qualifies the applicant through a background investigation.
Volunteers will receive approximately 40 hours of STARS academy training, with emphasis on volunteers being the "eyes and ears" for the Sheriff's Department. Through their training the STARS volunteers will become good will ambassadors, giving the community a better understanding of law enforcement. Once the volunteers have completed the STARS academy, training does not stop. Each month there will be about two hours training on specialized subjects, and possibly updates on previous classes.
Volunteers will be trained in the following areas:
• Patrol Procedures
• Elderly Abuse & Fraud
• Laws of Arrest
• Radio Use and Protocol
• Child Abuse
• Crimes and Their Elements
• Gangs and Drugs
• Domestic Violence
• Traffic Control
• Jail Tours
ADDITIONAL OPPORTUNITIES FOR STARS VOLUNTEERS
STARS volunteers will assist the following units throughout the Sheriff's Department: Records Bureau, Courts, Aero Squadron,and PSC Visitors Registration. STARS volunteers serve D.A. subpoenas, jury summons and School Attendance Review Board (SARB) subpoenas.
Crime Fairs / County Fair
STARS volunteers will appear at the County Fair and Crime Fairs throughout the county handing out Crime Prevention Information, Identity Theft information, finger printing children, and at times general security (Visibility being a deterrent.)
Neighborhood Watch Program
STARS volunteers will assist with the Neighborhood Watch Program by helping neighbors. Volunteers will explain the need for knowing the neighborhoods routine, what to do if a suspicious person or vehicle is seen, how to organize and continue the Neighborhood Watch Program, and how other programs like "Operation I.D. Owner Applied Number" function.
Home Security Checks
STARS volunteers will, when required, respond to citizens homes and make security checks. This would consist of checking doors, windows, and locks. Recommendations will be made by the volunteer as to how the home owner could improve the security of their home. (Specifications are recommended, not brand names.)
S.T.O.P. Program (STARS Truancy Operation Program)