After incorporation as a City in 1952, the first employee hired in the City of Los Altos was Police Chief Joseph H. McClelland. He was tasked with formation of the Police Department. On April 1, 1953 the Los Altos Police Department formally came to existence with the hiring of the first four patrolmen. Since then, the Police Department has grown to 30 sworn Police Officers, Reserve Officers and 17 support staff.
Prior to moving into the current police station located in the Civic Center complex, the Police Department was located in a small retail building in the 300 block of State Street in downtown Los Altos.
One of the first four Police Officers hired in 1953, Roland R. Renshaw, succeeded Chief McClelland as the Police Chief. Serving as Chief for over 20 years, Renshaw is the longest tenured Chief in the history of the Los Altos Police Department.