The Association of Orange County Deputy Sheriffs began as the collective bargaining unit representing Orange County’s deputy sheriffs back in 1976 but has grown substantially over the last few decades since its inception. We now represent about 4,200 active and retired sworn peace officers all together – from the sheriff’s department, district attorney’s office, probation department and OC Parks.

Our members from the Orange County Sheriff’s Department cover the contract cities of Aliso Viejo, Dana Point, Laguna Hills, Laguna Niguel, Laguna Woods, Lake Forest, Mission Viejo, Rancho Santa Margarita, San Clemente, San Juan Capistrano, Stanton, Villa Park and Yorba Linda, along with the unincorporated areas of Orange County, the harbors of Huntington Beach, Newport Beach and Dana Point, the John Wayne Airport, the Orange County Transportation Authority and the coroner’s office. The district attorney’s office relies on effective investigative and prosecutorial practices to see that justice is served throughout the Orange County community. The probation department uses efficient and research-supported corrections applications to reduce crime, help manage adult and juvenile offenders, and promote lawful and productive lifestyles. The OC Parks system boasts dozens of parks, trails, beaches, historic sites and a zoo in one of the most admired areas in the world.

History of AOCDS

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 then president, Lauren Rusk. As the association grew, we upgraded to a garage, then a rented office next to the Katella facility and on to an office near Santa Ana’s Civic Center. We are now so proud to welcome members to our beautiful, renovated building on Main Street near 17th in Santa Ana.

AOCDS once again took on new bargaining units in 2017 and is now thrilled to represent sheriff’s-coroner investigators, district attorney public assistance investigators, probation officers and park rangers, all sworn peace officers. Our strong membership has now passed the 3,400 mark.

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 receive the benefit of a wide range of our outstanding support personnel, including attorneys, insurance brokers, CPAs and other service providers.

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. We host an annual health fair for our members and their families, where they can receive free flu shots, cholesterol and body fat testing and other health-related services. We provide these easy to access services to make sure our members and their families get the help they need to stay as healthy as possible.

Our association has earned the reputation of being innovative, bolstering our communications efforts to better educate our members, politicians and the media to ensure our members are being treated fairly in the public eye. Our quarterly magazine, the Courier, is mailed to tens of thousands of people each 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. We even offer regular classes to our members at no extra charge to help them advance in their career, prepare for retirement or build a solid family life.

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 fought and will continue to fight to keep our members safe and ensure the public is protected.

We are nothing without the communities we serve, so AOCDS proudly sponsors numerous charities and causes throughout Orange County and the surrounding areas.

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 fought and will continue to fight to keep our members safe and ensure the public is protected.

The AOCDS Board of Directors and staff are proud to represent some of the finest law enforcement officers in the United States and we will continue to provide the highest level of representation to our members.

Together, we will persevere.

Message from the President

“AOCDS is extremely proud to represent about 4,200 sworn peace officers in Orange County, California. This includes active, extra-help and retired deputy sheriffs, district attorney investigators and public assistance investigators, sheriff-coroner investigators, probation officers and park rangers. We go above and beyond to protect our members while they protect the more than 3.1 million people who live here. We encourage the community to join us in our mission to make Orange County the safest and most desirable place to live, work and play.”

Juan Viramontes

Courier Publication

The Association of Orange County Deputy Sheriffs publishes a quarterly magazine called the Courier, along with an annual Special Edition Leadership Assessment Results Issue. The high-quality, all-color publication features original articles about the sworn peace officers who make up our association and the issues that affect us. It highlights AOCDS events and fundraisers, and contains multiple recurring sections, such as Health Hub, Law Review, Insurance Insight, Training Bulletin, Retirement Roundup, AOCDS in the News, Orange County Chronicle, Members to Remember, On the Docket, Member Spotlight, 4 or More, What’s Up with Workers’ Comp and Trivia Time. The magazine is mailed to active and retired AOCDS members, as well as elected officials, law enforcement associations across California and our advertisers. If you would like to advertise your business in the Courier or you have an idea for a story, please contact Courier Editor Lynda Halligan at Lynda@aocds.org or 714-285-2800. We look forward to hearing from you.

AOCDS Pipe Band

Would you like to invite the AOCDS Pipe Band to play at your upcoming event? We really appreciate you thinking of us. Please email us a request as early as possible, including the event name, date, approximate time and location, any other pertinent information and a website, if there is one. Please indicate whether you’d like the entire band to perform or just a few members. Please also include a contact person, job title, email address and phone number. We will get back to you promptly to let you know if we are available. Please note that we are not allowed to accept payment for our talent services, but we happily accept donations to help cover the cost of equipment, travel expenses and the like.

Please send all requests and inquiries to Lynda Halligan at Lynda@aocds.org.

Thank you again for your interest.