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"I am running for re-election because I am proud of the great work we have done, but I know there is more work to do. It has been amazing to see the growth and progress our County has made in recent years and I am personally committed to continuing that progress and ensuring that our County is a safe and welcoming place for everyone."
Bay Area Native

Carlos was born and raised in San Francisco and has spent his entire life in the Bay Area.


His parents emigrated to the U.S. from Nicaragua and he is a first generation Nicaraguan American. His father was a lifelong member of Teamsters Local 484 and an Honorary Retired Member and his mother was a homemaker. Growing up, his parents instilled in him the values of hard work, integrity, and respect. It is those core values that shaped him and made him the leader he is today.


He has been married to his wonderful wife, Kim, for forty-one years and together they have three amazing children, all of  whom have careers in public service, and three beautiful grandchildren.  

Distinguished Law Enforcement Leader

Carlos has a long and distinguished career in law enforcement and has served in a variety of leadership positions.


He began his career in 1979 as a patrol officer with the Palo Alto Police Department. While with the Palo Alto Police Department, he promoted through the ranks, going on to serve as a detective, sergeant, and lieutenant. During this time, he was fortunate to work alongside leaders and mentors who were forward thinking, professional, and truly dedicated to serving their community. This inspired him to become a leader in law enforcement. 

In 1991, Carlos accepted a position as a Police Captain with the City of Salinas. In 1994, he was appointed as Police Chief for the Redwood City Police Department. During his thirteen-year tenure as the Redwood City Police Chief, he integrated a community-oriented policing philosophy in the organization which included focusing on youth-oriented programs and bringing the PAL program to the community. In 2007, he was appointed as Undersheriff of San Mateo County and served in that role until 2016, when he was appointed, and subsequently elected, Sheriff of San Mateo County.

Throughout his career, Carlos has embraced and understood the importance of the Community Policing philosophy and the role it plays in effective policing. He believes that building relationships and developing partnerships with our community members is the key to effective policing.

His forty-two years of law enforcement experience in four organizations and serving as the Police Chief of Redwood City for twelve years, Undersheriff for ten years, and Sheriff for the past six years make Carlos the most qualified person to continue to lead the Sheriff’s Office. He has extensive experience not only in leading law enforcement agencies and keeping our communities safe, but also in building relationships with the communities that he serves. 

Community Leader

Carlos is dedicated to helping others by giving back and continuously seeking ways to improve our community.


He has committed his forty-two year career to public service and making a difference in the lives of others.

During his tenure as Redwood City Police Chief, he successfully incorporated the community policing philosopy into the department's organizational strategy and is credited with bringing the PAL program to the community.


As San Mateo County Sheriff, Carlos continues to focus on community engagement and youth intervention programs. Under his leadership, the Sheriff's Activities League (SAL) has greatly expanded, most notably in our coastside communities with the opening of a new 2,000 sq ft state-of-the-art space in Half Moon Bay. SAL now serves over 11,000 youths each year.

Carlos is deeply connected in the community and has the leadership skills and character to build relationships with community members, elected officials, and community stakeholders.

Additionally, Carlos has encouraged and supported a number of community engagement efforts including Coffee with a Deputy, Shop with a Cop, and the AAPI Liaison Program.

Carlos currently serves as Membership Chair of the Redwood City Rotary Club, Chair of San Mateo County Sheriff's Advisory Board, and Board Member of Starvista and the Elks Lodge.

San Mateo County Sheriff

For the past six years, Carlos has demonstrated effective, progressive leadership as Sheriff.


Carlos was appointed Sheriff of San Mateo County in July 2016 by the Board of Supervisors. In June 2018, he was elected the 25th Sheriff of San Mateo County. Carlos brings over 40 years of law enforcement experience to the position and has built a reputation as a a hardworking, no nonsense, collaborative problem solver. He believes in keeping our communities safe while providing modern, transparent, and accountable law enforcement services. 

As Sheriff, he has focused on programs and policies that increase public safety, promote transparency, and address the unique needs of our communities. Under his leadership, the Sheriff’s Office:

  • launched a new Enhanced Crisis Intervention Team (ECIT) program, the first of its kind in the state;

  • implemented a body worn camera program for all sworn staff;

  • opened an Acute Stabilization Unit for the treatment of severely mentally ill inmates; 

  • launched the AAPI Liaison Program;

  • expanded its evidence-based inmate programs and services; and

  • developed a Sheriff's Office Transparency Page

When the pandemic hit, Carlos worked closely with County officials to understand how the Sheriff's Office could best support the County Health Department and the community in reducing the spread of Covid-19. Despite the many challenges brought on by the pandemic,  the Sheriff's Office quickly adapted and remained steadfast in its commitment to keeping the community safe and healthy.