Lake Forest

City of Lake Forest Seal
Sheriff's Non-Emergency Dispatch:
714-647-7000 or 949-770-6011

Portrait of Brad Valentine
Lieutenant Brad Valentine
Chief of Police Services
City of Lake Forest
949-461-3541

City of Lake Forest Overview

Lake Forest, formerly known as the unincorporated area of El Toro, is located in South Orange County between the cities of Irvine and Mission Viejo. The community was settled in the late 1800s and incorporated as a city on December 20, 1991. The communities of Foothill Ranch and Portola Hills became part of Lake Forest in 2000. With 78,000 residents that encompass almost 17 square miles, Lake Forest offers beautifully planned communities set against the Saddleback Mountains, dedicated parks for recreation or just to relax, and planned commercial areas for shopping and business. With over 3,200 acres of dedicated open space, Lake Forest has seventeen parks, including the Whiting Ranch Wilderness Park. Lake Forest also has a high school, an intermediate school and nine elementary schools within the city.

The City of Lake Forest joins nine neighboring cities in South Orange County and two cities in North Orange County that contract with the Orange County Sheriff's Department for law enforcement. Staff includes five Sergeants, three Investigators, 38 Deputies, an Investigative Assistant, five Community Services Officers, and a Crime Prevention Specialist. Services provided through the City include direct and preventative patrol, a Special Enforcement Team, Traffic Enforcement (motorcycle and commercial), a deputy assigned to the regional Directed Enforcement Team, School Resource Officers, Bike Patrol, Neighborhood and Business Watch programs, as well as emergency preparedness classes for the community. In addition to these services offered directly from Lake Forest Police Services, the sheriff’s department also provides street and regional narcotics suppression programs, a Gang Enforcement Team, Mounted Unit, Special Weapons and Tactics Team (SWAT), Hostage Negotiations, the Drug Use is Life Abuse drug prevention program, and a complement of patrol-trained Reserve Deputy Sheriffs, many of whom volunteer their time for city events such as the Annual 4th of July Parade.

Lake Forest enjoys a low crime rate, and was recognized by a national firm as the 7th safest city in the United States (of cities with populations between 75,000 and 100,000) for 2010. Overall, Lake Forest was ranked as 10th safest of all cities. This is a result of the working relationship between the residents of the city, its Council, and the Sheriff’s Department.

Message from the Chief of Police Services

On behalf of the Orange County Sheriff’s Department, welcome to the Lake Forest Police Services’ website. This website is one of many ways in which the City of Lake Forest and the Orange County Sheriff’s Department strive to communicate and promote positive partnerships within the community.

Lake Forest Police Services’ personnel are second to none and take great pride in the community they serve. With public safety being a top priority for the City, we are dedicated to providing exceptional services to maintain the high quality of life that Lake Forest residents have come to enjoy and expect. Through a variety of programs such as community-based policing, crime prevention and crime analysis, we continually analyze our services and programs and leverage technology to ensure our operations are meeting the needs of the community. In addition, we value community partnerships as residents, businesses, and visitors play an integral part in keeping Lake Forest a safe and vibrant City. All of these components together ensure our goals of making Lake Forest a safer place are consistently met.

I invite you to learn more about the Department and explore the tools and information available online to help you stay informed and vigilant. The website provides an overview of resources, crime data, crime prevention tips, and safety events and programs. We look forward to your continued support and partnership as we work together to keep Lake Forest safe.

-Lieutenant Brad Valentine 

Part 1 Crime Stats for the City of Lake Forest

Crime 2014 2015 2016
Homicide 0 0 0
Rape 20 14 17
Robbery 18 23 13
Assault 67 71 75
Burglary 129 134 135
Larceny 493 685 533
Auto-Theft 62 90 78