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View Full Version : PD vs. SD vs. CHP


Mr310
06-13-2011, 4:01 PM
What are the differences between these different LEs? I know that CHP has different duties such as protecting the Governor and having jurisdiction on the highways, but what else? I've heard that Sherrifs have more of a "cowboy" like aura to their job like starting out on prison detail and not having partners as often as their PD counterparts, but what are the other differences?

Roddd
06-13-2011, 4:10 PM
Sheriffs has jurisdiction in county areas. Cities pay their own PD or contract with SO. CHP has state highways. There isn't much of a difference between SO and PD. But CHP differs greatly from the other two. Hope this helps.

JS89
06-13-2011, 4:40 PM
CHP = state police and has jurisdiction anywhere in the state of Ca. You can think of the great agency as being a law enforcement arm of the DMV, where they specialize in traffic law enforcement.

SD and PD are your general policing agencies that cover a wide spectrum of policing. The difference between most PD and SD is that SD run the jail and courts, although, some PD do have their own jails that are usually manned by civilian city employees.

Bunyfofu69
06-13-2011, 5:26 PM
let's not forget the Federal Agencies! Where we print money when we run out, and not furlough days!

RedMongooSe
06-13-2011, 5:36 PM
There are also specialized agencies too..... Airport Police, School / University Police, Port Police, Etc.

hitman13
06-13-2011, 5:46 PM
Sheriff Deputies = better than the rest, although I am biased :)

verapakill
06-13-2011, 6:15 PM
Sheriff Deputies = better than the rest, although I am biased :)

+1.

Mr310
06-13-2011, 7:17 PM
Isn't the SD training much longer than that of the PD?

verapakill
06-13-2011, 7:20 PM
Isn't the SD training much longer than that of the PD?

No its the same. Some academys have SD and PD in the same academy together.

Mr310
06-13-2011, 7:24 PM
No its the same. Some academys have SD and PD in the same academy together.

What??? So instead of choosing where they want to go, are they assigned based on whether they can color-coordinate their clothing or not? :D

hitman_usmc
06-13-2011, 7:24 PM
As far as training goes, they are the same. At least for the academy time. Most agencies in SoCal use SO academies to train new hires.

Samuelx
06-13-2011, 7:26 PM
lazy ash police department, lazy ash sheriff's department, can't handle policework - take your pick... :p

BigDogatPlay
06-13-2011, 7:31 PM
California POST sets the minimum training standards. What agencies with their own academies, i.e. CHP, LAPD, LASD, SFPD etc. can and do add above and beyond the POST minimums is entirely up to them. Same with the regional academies.

CHP is a great agency with a mission that is continually morphing and expanding. Wasn't that long ago that I can remember CHP guys in some areas of Golden Gate division having to turn over non-VC criminal matters to PD or SD, but that's a thing of the past.

830.1 and 830.2 peace officers, that is city PD, county SD and CHP, along with some others in those classifications, are peace officers 24/7/365 anywhere in the state. While local PD's (and a state agency or two I could name but won't) may limit where their officers go, the officers have the full authority of the Penal Code anytime, anyplace.

If I had it to do all over again, I'd have pursued a career in an SD.

Mr310
06-13-2011, 7:37 PM
If I had it to do all over again, I'd have pursued a career in an SD.

Why's that? It's interesting though, because while I have only had a negative experience with school police (safety?) I have always found the Sheriff's Deputies to be the friendliest when I need directions. Haha.

Triad
06-13-2011, 8:07 PM
I had a chippie call me for a 245 that happened on an off-ramp. When I got there he ran down the situation and the only thing that came out of my mouth was:

"So.....All roads, all codes?" We laughed and I got to work :P

epilepticninja
06-13-2011, 8:51 PM
Sheriff's departments usually have the responsibility as the Coroner as well.

Jonathan Doe
06-13-2011, 9:40 PM
Sheriff's departments usually have the responsibility as the Coroner as well.

Not in Los Angeles County. In LA, coroners have their own department with their own coroner's investigators and criminalists.

9mmepiphany
06-13-2011, 11:27 PM
Not in Sacramento County either

One of the differences in how a department is run has to do with how the head of the department is selected.

A Sheriff is elected, a Chief of Police is appointed by the City Manager, and the Head of the CHP is appointed by the Governor and confirmed by the Assembly/State Senate.

The CHP is the most interesting because they were able to take over the duties of the State Police. Their only political rival in the state is the CDC

ckim34
06-14-2011, 7:03 AM
You guys never notice that on POST training videos that the only people that say officers AND/OR deputies work for a SO/SD?

epilepticninja
06-14-2011, 11:38 AM
Not in Sacramento County either


Sacramento County is among 12 counties in California that has a separate Coroner's Office or Medical Examiner/District Attorney Coroner, while the other counties combine this function with the Sheriff's Department.

That's why I used the word "usually." :p

JayCo
06-14-2011, 11:52 AM
You guys never notice that on POST training videos that the only people that say officers AND/OR deputies work for a SO/SD?

Hahahah we actually noticed this in class once....EVERY SO/SD did the and/or....but the PD guys only said officers!! hahahaha

Notorious
06-14-2011, 6:05 PM
Read CA penal code 830 et.al. It will spell out every type of peace officer in this state. All law enforcement fall under the generic class of "peace" officer.

CHP are state LE and they are LE anywhere in the state for their primary duties. City and county LE (police and sheriff) are LE in their jurisdiction of hire and anywhere else they have been given authority by the head LEO. All agencies have some sort of MOU where they agree to help each other and allow cooperation in inter-agency operations such as when our pursuits go into a neighboring city.

Specialized police are police anywhere in the state as it relates to their primary duty. Then you have the various investigators from the state regulatory agencies who are LE but not traditional like us uniformed guys.

However, as the state lumps us all under peace officer, we all have the same state mandated minimum training standards. Each agency then can put more requirements on top of the state minimums if they want. But the minimum of 664 hours at least guarantees that most of us will be on the same page when we do work together.

Do some google on the code. It's actually very interesting.

Mr310
06-14-2011, 6:50 PM
Read CA penal code 830 et.al. It will spell out every type of peace officer in this state. All law enforcement fall under the generic class of "peace" officer.

CHP are state LE and they are LE anywhere in the state for their primary duties. City and county LE (police and sheriff) are LE in their jurisdiction of hire and anywhere else they have been given authority by the head LEO. All agencies have some sort of MOU where they agree to help each other and allow cooperation in inter-agency operations such as when our pursuits go into a neighboring city.

Specialized police are police anywhere in the state as it relates to their primary duty. Then you have the various investigators from the state regulatory agencies who are LE but not traditional like us uniformed guys.

However, as the state lumps us all under peace officer, we all have the same state mandated minimum training standards. Each agency then can put more requirements on top of the state minimums if they want. But the minimum of 664 hours at least guarantees that most of us will be on the same page when we do work together.

Do some google on the code. It's actually very interesting.

I'll definitely check it out. I was under the impression that CHP had no jurisdiction outside of Highways and Boulevards, though. :confused:

JS89
06-14-2011, 6:53 PM
A highway is any publicly maintained road to include streets, blvds, freeways and much more.

Notorious
06-14-2011, 7:17 PM
I thought so too then I see chippies cruising the streets in the unincorporated county areas. They split the duties with sheriffs there. CHP handles the traffic on surface streets while the sheriff handles the general LE service. Chippies also handle general LE in very small towns, provide security for state buildings, investigate traffic accidents involving public school buses anywhere it happens, and dignitary protection for officials. Say what you will about chippies, they can drive like nobody's business.

Me? I like my navy uniform. It's more slimming and doesn't show sweat stains like the tan and green.

kung fu panda
06-14-2011, 7:57 PM
A couple things....

We all do the same thing...kind of. We all try to help people. The CHP specializes on highway work, city PDs work within a city, and SDs work in the unincorporated pockets of cities and the rural areas...and the jails, and courts, and coronor, and civil matters...

As you probably guessed, I'm a little biased to SDs. Generally there is a greater variety of work assignments.

fullrearview
06-14-2011, 8:20 PM
I'll definitely check it out. I was under the impression that CHP had no jurisdiction outside of Highways and Boulevards, though. :confused:

Common mistake, don't worry about it... Out of state officers/deputies also have peace officer powers IF an agreement with that state/county/city is in place, OR they are formally requested via radio or other communication...

To my knowledge (which isn't much) CHP has a 50 mile agreement into Nevada to assist NHP.

Mr310
06-14-2011, 8:51 PM
Do Sheriffs ever do undercover work?

Cokebottle
06-14-2011, 8:52 PM
CHP = state police and has jurisdiction anywhere in the state of Ca. You can think of the great agency as being a law enforcement arm of the DMV, where they specialize in traffic law enforcement.

SD and PD are your general policing agencies that cover a wide spectrum of policing. The difference between most PD and SD is that SD run the jail and courts, although, some PD do have their own jails that are usually manned by civilian city employees.
In practicality, that is correct.
Legally, every officer in California is commissioned by the Governor and the entire state is his jurisdiction. Professional courtesy and efficiency keep city cops within the city, county in unincorporated and contract cities, and CHP on the highway.

But frequently, joint operations will have officers out of their normal territory. A friend of mine who worked for Anaheim was always getting involved in investigations and sting operations that took him as far as Barstow.

Cokebottle
06-14-2011, 8:54 PM
To my knowledge (which isn't much) CHP has a 50 mile agreement into Nevada to assist NHP.
And they're always buzzing up and down the AZ side of 95 between I-40 and Parker.

BigDogatPlay
06-14-2011, 9:46 PM
Why's that? It's interesting though, because while I have only had a negative experience with school police (safety?) I have always found the Sheriff's Deputies to be the friendliest when I need directions. Haha.

Variety of assignment perhaps more than anything else. Larger, more rural, counties often have resident deputies out in the far reaches of the county. Those are, generally, challenging assignments that require a strong, but common sense approach which is something I think I've always been blessed with. In many counties deputies spend a certain amount of time working with other agencies, particularly the non-CHP state agencies. Lots of opportunity for activity, networking and career development.

epilepticninja
06-14-2011, 9:53 PM
Do Sheriffs ever do undercover work?

The Sheriff's Deparment I worked for had a unit called SIU or Special Investigations Unit that was attached to the detectives division. My best friend worked in SIU, so I got to assist in a bunch of stuff with him, even though I was assigned to patrol. It was a good learning experience.

Notorious
06-14-2011, 10:51 PM
Sheriffs work tons of undercover here. Narcotics, gangs, you name it. In the urban counties like LA and the big one like San Bernardino, you get tons of contract cities which don't have their own Police so they contract (rent) sheriffs for general LE services so the deputies end up like city cops in that area.

The difference is the sheriff has tons more resources than pretty much every agency except LAPD so they can dump a ton of people on a homicide in their contract city of Duarte, for example, than Arcadia police can dump on any investigation in their own city.

As a matter of fact, most suburban departments contract with the sheriffs for major investigations so if a homicide happens in a small city such San Gabriel with 35 cops, they would actually have LASD Homicide detectives conduct the investigation since they don't have their own resources to do so.

That's what the posters above are saying. If you work in any smaller department which includes places which have maybe 150-200 cops, and that's pretty big relatively, you are looking at 10 years in patrol, minimum... with some places doing mandatory rotations in investigations or other assignments but patrol will be the bulk of it.

150-200 is not even the norm. Most suburban police departments don't get bigger than maybe 60-80 cops, and there are smaller ones with 15-30 cops. You are pretty much stuck with a few different assignment choices and few promotional opportunities because you gotta wait until that guy dies or retires or leaves or quits or gets fired before the spot opens up for competitive testing.

With the big ones like LAPD (10,000 officers) or LASD (8,000 deputies), you get to have that much more opportunity and movement. They have more assignments and people in one division than most suburban departments have in the whole organization.

It's all about what you want to do though. Some prefer to work in a smaller city and smaller department where the pace might be different or they don't want to be just another number in a huge organization. To each his own.

ckim34
06-15-2011, 6:33 AM
Sheriffs work tons of undercover here. Narcotics, gangs, you name it. In the urban counties like LA and the big one like San Bernardino, you get tons of contract cities which don't have their own Police so they contract (rent) sheriffs for general LE services so the deputies end up like city cops in that area.

The difference is the sheriff has tons more resources than pretty much every agency except LAPD so they can dump a ton of people on a homicide in their contract city of Duarte, for example, than Arcadia police can dump on any investigation in their own city.

As a matter of fact, most suburban departments contract with the sheriffs for major investigations so if a homicide happens in a small city such San Gabriel with 35 cops, they would actually have LASD Homicide detectives conduct the investigation since they don't have their own resources to do so.

That's what the posters above are saying. If you work in any smaller department which includes places which have maybe 150-200 cops, and that's pretty big relatively, you are looking at 10 years in patrol, minimum... with some places doing mandatory rotations in investigations or other assignments but patrol will be the bulk of it.

150-200 is not even the norm. Most suburban police departments don't get bigger than maybe 60-80 cops, and there are smaller ones with 15-30 cops. You are pretty much stuck with a few different assignment choices and few promotional opportunities because you gotta wait until that guy dies or retires or leaves or quits or gets fired before the spot opens up for competitive testing.

With the big ones like LAPD (10,000 officers) or LASD (8,000 deputies), you get to have that much more opportunity and movement. They have more assignments and people in one division than most suburban departments have in the whole organization.

It's all about what you want to do though. Some prefer to work in a smaller city and smaller department where the pace might be different or they don't want to be just another number in a huge organization. To each his own.

Yeah with smaller departments the chance to do specialized assignments are more limited. Thats not to say that they dont exist though. I work for a "small" department and I've had the chance to work investigations and swat within my first 3.5 years.

oldmotor
06-15-2011, 4:06 PM
I had a chippie call me for a 245 that happened on an off-ramp. When I got there he ran down the situation and the only thing that came out of my mouth was:

"So.....All roads, all codes?" We laughed and I got to work :P

Depends on the Chp area. We have different mou's with different dept.'s My area, we would have taken it. Or he could have just been a lazy s.o.b. We all have them.

Jonathan Doe
06-15-2011, 5:20 PM
Do Sheriffs ever do undercover work?

Yes, of course. I enjoyed working undercover for our Vice Bureau in early 90's. Getting massages with county money was pretty cool. :D I also did undercover work at some bars tracking narcotics suspects. And, did other FUN assignments. Now, it is all past. I left patrol in 1994 and never really did much undercover work since then. I still get involved in homicide investigations occasionally.

Notorious
06-16-2011, 7:44 AM
Yeah with smaller departments the chance to do specialized assignments are more limited. Thats not to say that they dont exist though. I work for a "small" department and I've had the chance to work investigations and swat within my first 3.5 years.

Here's a balancing act. The smaller places will generally let you jar what opportunities they have to give sooner than you would be able to experience it in a big department.

For example, LAPD requires 3 years on to test for detective and 5 years on to test for sergeant and 9 years for SWAT. (old figures)

If you are in a small PD that has a detective bureau, you might be able to test sooner. I know a few guys who made sergeant in a small place before 5 years if there is an opening. I also know guys in small places that are still pushing a radio car after almost 20 years because there is nowhere to go.

It's all hit and miss. You gotta research the department.

Doug B
06-19-2011, 11:39 AM
One thing that hasn't been mentioned is the fact that a Sheriff is NOT required by law to provide patrol services. They are only mandated to provide and staff the county jail(s). I believe there are one or two counties in the northern hemisphere of California that only provide jail services. CHP covers the areas not patrolled by a city PD.

ckim34
06-20-2011, 9:20 AM
Here's a balancing act. The smaller places will generally let you jar what opportunities they have to give sooner than you would be able to experience it in a big department.

For example, LAPD requires 3 years on to test for detective and 5 years on to test for sergeant and 9 years for SWAT. (old figures)

If you are in a small PD that has a detective bureau, you might be able to test sooner. I know a few guys who made sergeant in a small place before 5 years if there is an opening. I also know guys in small places that are still pushing a radio car after almost 20 years because there is nowhere to go.

It's all hit and miss. You gotta research the department.


Hit the nail on the head.

Ron-Solo
06-20-2011, 12:39 PM
One thing that hasn't been mentioned is the fact that a Sheriff is NOT required by law to provide patrol services. They are only mandated to provide and staff the county jail(s). I believe there are one or two counties in the northern hemisphere of California that only provide jail services. CHP covers the areas not patrolled by a city PD.

Not entirely correct. The Sheriff is mandated to staff the county jail, attend the Superior Court, and provide law enforcement in unincorporated areas of the county. The Sheriff decides what those levels of law enforcement are.

DEPUTYBILL
06-22-2011, 3:35 PM
As far as I know,the only county that does not have a patrol division is San Francisco. That is because the city and county are the same jurisdiction and area.

smfdff
06-24-2011, 11:45 AM
As long as I have been in the business; coming up on 27 years, there are many units or divisions with each dept. I am always learning of new, for the sake of this conversation we will call them teams, new teams within a department. I know that the CHP generally cover traffic enforcement on all freeways, to include state routes, highways and roads within a county or unincorporated area. Back in the 1980's the disbanded the Cal. State Police which provided the State Capitol and other State buildings with security and gave those duties to CHP. CHP also works as agents for the DMV, working "Undercover" in vehicle crimes such as theft and chop shops.
The Sheriff will enforce laws anywhere but their many area of coverage is the unincorporated areas, county, and in Sac they work the two jails, court house, air port and other venues.
PD mainly enforces the laws with in the city, although each department assist each other as needed, as well as each dept may have an officer or more assigned to DHS Task Force as do other agencies.

Hope this isn't TMI.

Chachie
06-24-2011, 6:27 PM
Of those three, who have the best mustaches?:clown:

Notorious
06-24-2011, 8:41 PM
I thought CHP investigators work as their de facto detectives while the DMV had their own separate arm of LE with their own DMV investigators?

Mr310
06-25-2011, 12:10 PM
I thought CHP investigators work as their de facto detectives while the DMV had their own separate arm of LE with their own DMV investigators?

Really? Are they stationed in certain DMV offices??

Notorious
06-25-2011, 1:01 PM
Really? Are they stationed in certain DMV offices??

I wouldn't know. All I saw was at a LE conference seeing them set up a table and there were 2 guys in blue polo shirts and 5.11 khaki pants with badges on their belts. Their table display and banner said DMV investigators, no mention of CHP anywhere.

5shot
06-25-2011, 1:43 PM
Really? Are they stationed in certain DMV offices??

Yes, but not every office. In Orange Co. they had DMV investigators at the Fullerton, Santa Ana, and one of the So. County DMV's. Some are also at some of the state buildings.

Ubermcoupe
06-25-2011, 6:55 PM
... DMV had their own separate arm of LE with their own DMV investigators?
Yes.

DMV investigators are the real LE arm of the DMV, specializing in stolen vehicles, phony registration and ID rings, etc.

Along with the vehicle code enforcement activities, CHP also took over state police activities upon the absorption of the former CA State Police, like state gov't protection of personnel (the Governor) and state buildings.