About Our Association
The Association of Orange County Deputy Sheriffs was formed in 1976 when a handful of deputies decided their interests would be better represented by breaking away from the bargaining unit that represented other Orange County employees.
The early days of AOCDS were not easy ones. The idea of an association representing just the interests of deputies was met with resistance from the department. A member from Sheriff’s Department Administration attended initial meetings, writing down the names of deputies in attendance and their license plate numbers. Some members were harassed about their involvement with the association. But the meetings continued and AOCDS was formed.
District attorney investigators were welcomed into AOCDS following the signing of the fledgling association’s inaugural contract in 1979.
The first AOCDS office could be found in the trunk of the President Lauren Rusk. As the association grew, we upgraded to a garage, then a rented office next to the Katella facility and then our current office near Santa Ana’s Civic Center. We are continuing to grow and are in the midst of renovating our new headquarters next to Santa Ana Police Association. We hope to move in next year.
AOCDS now proudly represents more than 1,900 fully sworn Sheriff’s Department deputies, investigators and sergeants and investigators and supervising investigators of the District Attorney’s Bureau of Investigations.
AOCDS provides unparalleled representation of its members, expertly dealing with grievances, disciplinary appeals and work issues. AOCDS representatives are available around-the clock to respond immediately to the scenes of officer-involved shootings, accidents and other deputy-involved incidents. Members also have the benefit of a wide range of outstanding support personnel, including our attorneys, insurance brokers, CPA and other service providers.
Our association has earned a reputation as innovative, bolstering our communications efforts to better educate our members, politicians and the media to ensure our deputies are being treated fairly in the public eye. Our quarterly magazine, the Courier, is mailed to tens of thousands of people a year, not only providing valuable information to our members, but also informing politicians, and other associations across the state of issues important to our membership and law enforcement as a whole.
The AOCDS leadership has ensured that AOCDS remains at the forefront of law enforcement associations across the state and the nation. AOCDS has been a major player in local, state and national politics, working to safeguard the working conditions, wage, and benefits of our members.
Our strength comes not only from our dedication to this association, but from the solid relationships we have built with our brothers and sisters in law enforcement associations and organizations across the nation. Working together we have and will continue to fight to keep our members safe and ensure the public is protected.
AOCDS began offering medical insurance to members and their families in 1989. We are able to offer stellar benefits at the best value by administering our own medical plan. We also provide dental, salary continuance, term life and other insurance programs to our members. For the past 15 years we have hosted a health fair for our members and their families can receive free flu shots, cholesterol and body fat testing along with other health-related services. We are there to make sure our members and their families get the help they need to stay as healthy as possible.
We are nothing without the communities we serve and AOCDS proudly sponsors numerous charities and causes throughout Orange County and the surrounding areas.
When the city of Stanton couldn’t afford to turn on the water for its water feature at Harry M. Dotson Park, AOCDS stepped in and made sure the water was flowing to give Stanton’s children a safe place to play during the hot summer months.
Orange County Sheriff’s investigators were part of a multi-jurisdictional task force hunting down a serial killer targeting homeless men when AOCDS offered a $5,000 reward in helping find the killer. Just days later, Donny Hopkins, a forklift driver on his way home from work, witnessed a man repeatedly stabbing a homeless man in the parking lot of an Anaheim shopping center. Hopkins yelled at the man and started chasing the armed and obviously dangerous suspect through the parking lot and into the very mobile home park where Hopkins lived with his wife and two young children. The suspect was arrested and charged in the deaths of four homeless men and a Yorba Linda mother and son.
AOCDS honored Hopkins with the $5,000 reward and in conjunction with the Anaheim Police Association, donated an additional $5,000 to Mercy House to give some much needed help to the homeless community.
The AOCDS Board of Directors and staff are proud to represent the finest deputy sheriffs and district attorney investigators in the United States and we will continue to provide the highest level of representation to our members.
Together, we will persevere.