SAFE - Strategy. Accountability. Focus. Evaluation

 SAFE Division Seal

Captain Wayne Byerley

Mission Statement

It is the mission of the SAFE Division to review, enhance, and create department policies, improve safety through compliance with all mandates, reduce liability, assist injured employees in their recovery and return to work and track employee performance to increase our commitment to excellence in service to the public.


Formed in October 2008 with a vision of increased accountability and continuous improvement, the S.A.F.E Division is designed to bring all aspects of risk management under one roof as well as develop new tools to reduce the Department's risk exposure.

Risk Management Bureau

The Risk Management Bureau works in close collaboration on legal issues with County Counsel and the County’s Risk Management Office, and acts as the Department’s liaison to the Grand Jury. The Bureau evaluates legislative mandates and policy and procedures, provides training to mitigate risk to the Department and its employees, and facilitates civil litigation that arises.

Civil Litigation Unit

In coordination with County Risk Management, investigates and manager all claims and lawsuits against the Department, strives to reduce Department liability exposure through proactive root cause and trend analysis and advise Command Staff in mitigation efforts.

Return to Work Unit

Assists the County’s Workers’ Compensation Unit in processing, tracking and monitoring work-related injury claims, with the goal of supporting the injured employee and helping them return to work as quickly as possible.

Safety & Training Unit

The Safety & Training Unit works to ensure the Department complies with all California Occupational Safety and Health Administration (Cal/OSHA) regulations, County of Orange Safety and Loss Prevention policies, and other applicable regulations and standards. Additionally, this Unit designs and conducts employee safety training, conducts facility inspections, and operates as an advisor for making needed corrections.

Office of Continuous Improvement

Works to improve our delivery of customer service through the LEAN process improvement model, while striving to eliminate waste and create value for the public we serve.

Critical Incident Review Board

Identifies and addresses areas of concern related to policy, procedures, training and equipment after each significant critical incident.

Risk Liaison Officer Program

Utilizes representatives from each division to identify and mitigate risk throughout the Department.

S.A.F.E. Bureau

The S.A.F.E. Bureau has been in place since October of 2008. The unit is tasked with revision and creation of policies and procedures to bring the department up to industry standards utilizing the best practices available. The ultimate goal of the unit is to reduce the department’s exposure to liability and create a database system to be utilized by supervisors and managers to oversee the successes and areas of needed improvement within their units and divisions.

A quick overview of how the S.A.F.E. Bureau develops policy and procedure is listed below. It is an extensive process and ensures all divisions and the different levels of personnel are consulted. 

  • Sheriff assigns a project 
  • Research throughout the nation for the best practices utilized 
  • Draft policy 
  • Division liaisons review 
  • Draft policy revised based on liaisons input 
  • Vertical user group review 
  • Draft policy revised based on vertical user group input
  • Risk Management Bureau (RMB), Office of Independent Review (OIR) and County Counsel (CC) review
  • Draft policy revised based on RMB, OIR and CC input
  • Executive Command Staff review, revision and approval


Tracks and analyzes the Department’s use of force events, traffic collisions and patrol & custody operations to monitor performance indicators in an effort to identify and respond to emerging trends.

Labor Relations

Serves as the Department liaison with the various bargaining units on all labor relations issues and during contract negotiations.

Policy Manual

Manages the Lexipol Policy Manual and revises policy based on research, best practices and the findings of the Critical Incident Review Board.

Traffic Collision Review Board

Meets quarterly to review all traffic collisions involving Department vehicles which cause damage, injury or death,

Contact Information