County Sheriff Laurie Smith

The 28th person to serve as sheriff in Santa Clara County, Laurie Smith first took office in January 1999. A native of Michigan, she she relocated to San Jose in 1969. While still an undergraduate at San Jose State University, she began her public service career in 1973 when she was sworn in as a deputy sheriff matron—the only full peace officer status position available to women. In addition to a bachelor’s degree in administration of justice, Sheriff Smith has a master’s degree in management from California Polytechnic University, Pomona. She also is a graduate of the FBI National Academy, the State of California Command College, the FBI National Executive Institute and the American Leadership Forum – Silicon Valley.

Smith most recently ran for reelection in 2018, winning a sixth term. She faced the first run-off in her career as sheriff, beating former undersheriff John Hirokawa in the November general election.

In October of 2022, she resigned early while facing a civil corruption trial for abuse of power in a case involving conceealed weapon permits.

The Santa Clara County Sheriff's Office serves the communities of Cupertino, Los Altos Hills, Saratoga and the county’s unincorporated areas. The office also maintains contracts with the Valley Transportation Authority and the Santa Clara County Parks Department for law enforcement services.

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