Operations Division

Circa 1954 - Los Altos Police Patrol Cars

Operations is comprised of Patrol, Traffic, Investigations, Code Enforcement, Crime Prevention, School Resource, Canine, SWAT and the Reserves.


The Patrol Division is split into four Patrol Teams, each with a Sergeant, Agent and Officers. The four Patrol Teams are assigned to either a day-shift or night-shift. The teams work 12-hour shifts and are off every other weekend. Patrol includes all uniformed officers who respond to emergency and non-emergency calls for service, and accounts for for most of the interactions between the police department and the community. This division also includes the K-9 Officer.


The Traffic Unit's primary function is to reduce injury collisions through education and enforcement. Traffic laws are enforced by all Los Altos Police Officers, but the Traffic Unit concentrates specifically on traffic enforcement, hit & run accident follow-up investigations and investigating major injury and/or fatal accidents. Traffic calming and measures to lower speeds in the residential and school zones are very important to us. Feel free to bring any traffic annoyances to our attention by submitting an Online Traffic Complaint Form.


The detectives in the Investigations Unit are divided into two groups: Property Crimes and Crimes Against Persons. Property Crimes detectives investigate thefts, burglaries, fraud and financial crimes. Crimes Against Persons detectives investigate assaults, sexual assaults, robberies, homicides, and child abuse.

Detectives also work closely with other law enforcement agencies in the area to coordinate joint cases and share information regarding crimes and trends that affect all of Santa Clara County or the state.

The detectives are primarily tasked with investigating cases that are reported through the Patrol Division. Information developed by detectives is then passed back to the Patrol Division to ensure the enforcement efforts are focused and directed. Once a suspect is arrested as the result of an investigation, the Investigations Division along with the Santa Clara County District Attorney's Office coordinates the prosecution of the suspect.

School Resource Officer

The School Resource Officer (SRO) serves as a liaison position between local schools and the police department. The SRO functions as a police officer in the school setting, developing a positive relationship with the schools, students, parents and the community. The SRO balances the role of a law enforcement officer with that of a counselor and an educator, and is also trained as a certified D.A.R.E. instructor to handle public speaking events. The SRO is also highly trained in internet predator safety and cyberbullying.

Code Enforcement

Code Enforcement works in partnership with other City departments such as Community Development, Building, Planning and Public Works to bring residential and commercial property owners into compliance with municipal laws. This division investigates citizen complaints pertaining to public nuisances, property maintenance, blight, weeds, graffiti, noise, illegal dumping, signage, zoning, and construction regulations found in the City's Municipal Code Ordinances. The primary objective of Code Enforcement is to protect the City from deterioration and potential health hazards. If you know of a potential code enforcement violation, please notify the City by completing an Online Code Enforcement Form.

Crime Prevention


The Crime Prevention Officer is dedicated to public education regarding crime prevention, and is a resource for residents and business owners to discuss crime prevention topics such as Neighborhood Watch, Identity Theft and Safety tips for your home or business.


The SWAT team is a cooperative group that shares resources with Mountain View Police Department. The two teams together are a highly trained group of officers tasked with the responsibility of handling and resolving high-risk situations. Utilizing team tactics, special weaponry, specialized equipment and other tactical skills, the SWAT team handles hostage rescue operations, armed and barricaded suspects, high risk warrant entries and any other situations requiring the team's skills and abilities. The SWAT team trains every month to maintain proficiency and expand their mission capabilities. A Tactical Commander and Team Leader command the team on missions and conduct team training. The department also has two 9-1-1 Communication Officers who are highly skilled tactical dispatchers.

Reserve Unit

The Reserve Officers are dedicated professionals who, combined, have over 70 years of police experience. Reserve Officers are required to work a minimum number of hours per month. Reserve Officers must comply with the same requirements established by the Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) as regular Police Officers. Los Altos Police Reserve Officers staff events such as the Art & Wine Festival, Pet Parade and the Festival of Lights and also assist with routine patrol and other officer responsibilities. If you are interested in serving as a Reserve Officer, contact Human Resources to submit an application and your resume.