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Santa Clara County, CA June 8, 2010 Election
Smart Voter Full Biography for Laurie Smith

Candidate for
Sheriff; County of Santa Clara

This information is provided by the candidate

Sheriff Laurie Smith

Brief Biography & Resume

Santa Clara County Sheriff Laurie Smith is a native of Michigan where she lived until completion of high school. In 1969 she relocated to San Jose, California to pursue higher education and begin her law enforcement career.

Laurie graduated from San Jose State University with a Bachelor's Degree in Administration of Justice, and later received her Master's Degree in Management from California Polytechnic University, Pomona. Sheriff Smith is also a graduate of the FBI National Academy, the State of California Command College and the FBI National Executive Institute.

While still an undergraduate, she began her public service career in 1973 when she was sworn in as a Matron, then the only full peace officer status position available to women. Sheriff Smith has spent her entire professional career with the Santa Clara County Sheriff's Office.

On December 15, 1998, Laurie Smith was sworn in as the Sheriff of Santa Clara County, having been elected by an overwhelming majority of the voters. She serves as Santa Clara County's 28th Sheriff since the department's inception in 1850.

Sheriff Smith has been very active in a number of professional and law enforcement organizations including Child Quest International, Domestic Violence Council, Santa Clara County Police Chiefs' Association, California State Sheriffs' Association, California Peace Officers' Association, Major County Sheriffs' Association, National Criminal Justice Association, Police Futurists International and the National Sheriffs' Association.

She has been appointed to serve on the State of California, Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training; the Speaker's Commission on Police Conduct; the Office of the Attorney General, Blue Ribbon Commission on SWAT Practices and Policies; the Attorney General's Criminal Justice Advisory Committee; the California Emergency Management Agency, Emergency Response Training Advisory Committee; and the Attorney General's Violent Crime Reduction Task Force. She also serves on the Administration of Justice Advisory Board for De Anza College and the University of San Francisco.

Sheriff Smith has received numerous citations and awards for her public service and has an outstanding record in the California law enforcement community. She is a past-president of the California State Sheriffs' Association and was recently named Woman of the Year by the California State Assembly.

Sheriff Smith is married to Brannan Smith, who is retired from the San Jose Police Department. Their daughter, Shannan, graduated from the University of Hawaii in 2006 and is presently employed at the Santa Clara County Probation Department.

Summary of Experience:

  • Sheriff, Santa Clara County

  • More than 36 years of law enforcement experience, including 20 years in top management

Employment History:

  • September 15, 1973 to present County of Santa Clara, Office of the Sheriff (from December 1998 to present serving as Sheriff)


  • California Polytechnic University, Pomona Master of Science, Management

  • San Jose State University Bachelor of Science, Administration of Justice

Professional Training:

  • State of California, Peace Officer Standards and Training Command College
  • F.B.I. National Academy
  • F.B.I. National Executive Institute
  • American Leadership Forum


State of California, Peace Officer Standards and Training

  • Basic Certificate,
  • Intermediate Certificate,
  • Advanced Certificate,
  • Supervisory Certificate,
  • Management Certificate and
  • Executive Certificate


  • California State Sheriffs' Association(President '07-'08, currently serving on President's Council)
  • California Peace Officers' Association
  • National Sheriffs' Association
  • Western States Sheriffs Association
  • Major County Sheriffs' Association
  • Police Futurists International
  • Rotary International
  • Salvation Army, Board of Directors
  • University of San Francisco, Advisory Board
  • De Anza College + Administration of Justice Program Advisory Board
  • Child Quest International

Commissions/Councils: (Past & Present)

  • Commission on Peace Officer Standards & Training (P.O.S.T.)
  • Domestic Violence Council, Santa Clara County
  • Juvenile Justice System Collaborative, Santa Clara County
  • Disaster Preparedness Executive Committee, Santa Clara County
  • Speaker's Commission on Police Conduct
  • Attorney General's Commission on SWAT Practices and Policies
  • Attorney General's Crime Reduction Task Force
  • Attorney General's Criminal Justice Advisory Committee
  • Emergency Response Training Advisory Committee (ERTAC)

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Created from information supplied by the candidate: May 3, 2010 07:51
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