Arroyo Grande is a special place to live and work. The community provides an extraordinary quality of life - friendly small town atmosphere, outstanding climate, beautiful environment, and excellent recreation and entertainment opportunities. Arroyo Grande is located within minutes of beautiful ocean beaches, Lopez Lake recreation area, campgrounds, hiking trails, and several noted wineries. Within the City, residents enjoy a unique combination of rural and urban qualities - agriculturally productive farmlands, quality neighborhoods, a variety of shopping experiences, excellent parks and sports facilities, a performing arts center, local hospital, and an outstanding school system.
Incorporated in 1911, the City currently comprises 5.45 square miles and serves 17,000 residents. Arroyo Grande is a full-service city, including fire, police, parks and recreation, community development, redevelopment agency, public works, and water utility operations. The City's existing budget is $25,255,158, including a $14,728,090 General Fund.
The Arroyo Grande Police Department has 35 dedicated full-time employees with a budget in fiscal year 2010 of approximately $6,031,250. In addition, the Department has 16 part-time employees, one Parking Enforcement Technician and 52 community volunteers who assist the organization by participating in several programs such as Citizens Assisting Police, the South County Police Volunteers, Police Chaplain, Citizen Academy, Explorer Post and the Community Advisory Council. The Department has an excellent reputation within the community and the entire County, embraces community policing and upholds a strong customer service attitude in conjunction with ensuring quality of life in our community.
The crime rate in the region is among the lowest in California. The Department responded to 12,904 documented incidents in 2008 and 16,066 documented incidents in 2009, a significant 25% increase in workload. Arrests for the same period increased a dramatic 39%. At the same time the Department has been able to maintain a response time for emergency calls at less than two minutes.
The organizational structure consists of two major divisions; Patrol Services and Support Services, each headed by a Commander. The remainder of the full-time team includes six Sergeants, eighteen Police Officers, one Executive Secretary, one Support Services Supervisor and six Support Service Technicians.
The mission of the Arroyo Grande Police Department is to maintain the public peace, safeguard lives and property, and to provide for a quality of life whereby those persons within the City of Arroyo Grande have a sense of security and freedom in their daily activities. To achieve these ends, the Arroyo Grande Police Department will maintain the capability to provide a superior level of law enforcement and related services which are appropriate and timely. Specifically, the Arroyo Grande Police Department will maintain a viable proactive organization, which recognizes and effectively responds to current and future community needs, and which makes maximum use of available resources, personnel and technology.
The earliest inhabitants of Arroyo Grande Valley were the northern or Obispeno Chumash Indians. The Arroyo Grande area was still occupied by Chumash Indians at the time of contact with the first Spanish explorer, Juan Cabrillo. During the colonial settlement of California, the Arroyo Grande Valley became separated into two major ranchos which were granted by the Mexican government around 1840. In the mid-1860's, a severe drought decimated the cattle population, forcing the large ranchos to subdivide property and sell smaller parcels to new settlers for agricultural uses. In 1863, the San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors established the township of Arroyo Grande.
The town of Arroyo Grande was founded in 1897 in southern San Luis Obispo County. Arroyo Grande was one of the many western towns springing up along the west coast in a state that was slightly over thirty years old. Like many small western towns, Arroyo Grande employed a night watchman to protect the community prior to the formation of a police department.
Henry Lewelling, the first Town Marshal, was hired around November 1903. He came to Arroyo Grande after having four years experience as a Deputy Sheriff. Sadly, Mr. Lewelling met his death before the end of his fifth month. Read more →
The Arroyo Grande Police Department is involved in a number of exciting projects. Some of these projects include: