Get to know Sheriff Bolanos
Born and raised in California, Sheriff Carlos Bolanos is a Bay Area Native.
He is dedicated to public safety for over 36 years and has continued to work to keep San Mateo County safe.
I began my law enforcement career in 1979 as a police officer with the Palo Alto Police Department. In my 12 years I worked as a patrol officer, training officer, SWAT Team member, detective, and promoted to the ranks of Agent, Sergeant and Lieutenant.
In 1991, I was appointed as Police Captain with the Salinas Police Department and served there for three years. In 1994 I was appointed as Chief of Police of the Redwood City Police Department.
I served as Redwood City Chief of Police for 12 years, focusing my energies on the community of Redwood City. My main priorities were ensuring that we worked in partnership with the community in the delivery of law enforcement services, providing programs for our youth to help them avoid gangs, drugs and other dangerous behaviors.
In January 2007, I was appointed as the Undersheriff of San Mateo County by Sheriff Greg Munks. As the Undersheriff, I was responsible for the day to day operations of the Sheriff’s Office which included oversight of the Crime Lab, Technology Services and Administration & Finance.
My formal education includes a Bachelor's Degree in Economics from the University of San Francisco and a Master's Degree in Public Administration from California State University East Bay. I am also a graduate of the California Peace Officers Standards and Training Command College and the Executive Leaders Program at the Center for Homeland Defense and the Security Naval Postgraduate School.
I believe that law enforcement has a role in the prevention of crime through the establishment of positive relationships with the community, and through the development of programs for our youth.
I am proud to have served the residents of San Mateo County for the last 20 years. My 38 years of experience in Law Enforcement along with my formal education, dedication to continuous improvement for the San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office and commitment to the community makes me the right choice for San Mateo County.
On August 2, 2016, I was appointed Sheriff of San Mateo County by the Board of Supervisors. I am extremely proud to be a member of the Sheriff's Office. I care deeply for the organization and the men and women whom I have the privilege to serve with. My current role as Sheriff combined with my previous experience as Undersheriff gives me a clear understanding of the Sheriff's Office and I look forward to continuing my public safety leadership responsibilities as your Sheriff.