Santa Cruz County operates an Adult Detention Center at the Tony Estrada Law Enforcement Center that has the maximum capacity of 372 prisoners greatly exceeding the capacity of 106 prisoners at the former facility. The Detention Division is under the direction of Commander Raoul Rodriguez. The primary role of the division is to maintain custody of those prisoners who have been convicted and sentenced to time in the County facility and those prisoners waiting to be transferred to other facilities. This includes developing and maintaining records on all inmates.
Detention officers are also responsible for the transportation needs of all inmates remanded to the custody of the Sheriff. This includes transportation to medical appointments, transportation between detention facilities, court appearances and travel between mental hospitals and other psychiatric facilities.
To become a Detention Officer, an applicant must pass each of the following:
- Written Exam
- Physical Agility Exam
- Oral Interview
- Polygraph Exam
- Background Investigation
- Psychological Exam
- Medical Exam
Once an applicant satisfies these requirements, he or she must undergo four distinct phases of training. The first is to graduate from an approved, 7 week detention academy. The new employee must then successfully complete a firearms familiarization course, inmate transportation and finally field operations training.