Sheriff's Office

Sheriff Jerry W. SmithThe Sheriff’s Office serves all the citizens of Butte County by providing a mix of public safety and public service functions. The Sheriff’s Office provides around-the-clock law enforcement service to every region of the county. In addition to 24 hour policing, we offer Butte County citizens a full range of services including, coroner services, civil services, court security and corrections.

Butte County Sheriff History

Butte County was incorporated on February 18, 1850, as one of California’s original 27 counties.  Our first Sheriff, J.Q. Wilbur, was elected in June of that year to bring law and order to the 12,800 square miles that comprised the county at the time. 


The term of Sheriff was originally set by the Legislature at two years; in 1880, the term was increased to four years.  After more than a decade of vacillating between two and four years, the length of term was permanently settled at four years in 1897.


The first Butte County Jail was in the county-seat town of Hamilton from 1850-1853; the second in Bidwell Bar, where voters had elected to move the county seat, from 1853-1856; and the third jail was in the basement of the courthouse when the county seat was permanently established in Oroville in 1856.  By that time, the county had roughly assumed its current boundaries and size of 1676 square miles.  But even as the county was shrinking in size, both the population and crime were rapidly increasing, and all three jails were commonly in use and at capacity.


In 1904, a new Sheriff’s Office and Jail was completed at Huntoon & Robinson, 30 feet south of the Butte County Courthouse.  A ‘bridge of sighs’, which was a wire covered ramp, led from the second story of the jail directly into the upstairs courtroom, where a south window was made into a door.  We moved to our current location on County Center Dr. in 1965.  The empty jail and original courthouse were so heavily damaged in the August 1975 earthquake that they had to be demolished.




Above: The 1948 addition to the back of the jail survived the earthquake and is best known for its mural of Ishi. The planter at the curb used to be a horse watering trough.

Above right:  Sheriff Larry Gillick and sons in front of the Huntoon Street Sheriff’s Office and Jail in the mid-fifties.  Having held office for 32 years, he is Butte County’s longest serving Sheriff. 





 1. Joseph Q. Wilbur

 June 1850 - December 1851

 2. Everett K. Dodge

 January 1852 - December 1853

 3. Peter Freer

 January 1854 - December 1857

 4. Nathaniel Dunbar Plum

 January 1858 - December 1859

 5. William O. Middleton

 January 1860 - December 1863

 6. Frank Warren Day

 January 1864 - December 1867

 7. Thomas Franklin Miller

 January 1868 - December 1871

 8. Samuel L. Daniels

 January 1872 - December 1875

 9. William Schneider

 January 1876 - December 1877

 10. Fred Adams Sprague

 January 1878 - December 1882

 11. Samuel McClellan

 January 1883 - December 1886

 12. John Miller Ball

 January 1887 - December 1890

 13. Robert Allen Anderson

 January 1891 - December 1894

 14. Sylvester “Dutch” Henderson Wilson

 January 1895 - April 1904

 15. James Marquis Chubbuck

 April 1904 - December 1910

 16. John Brooks Webber

 January 1911 - December 1914

 17. William Robert Riddle

 January 1915 - December 1918

 18. John Brooks Webber

 January 1919 - December 1922

 19. Robert Nelson Anderson

 January 1923 - December 1926

 20. Charles William "Bill" Toland

 January 1927 - December 1934

 21. Alvin Stanley Kister

 January 1935 - September 1937

 22. Robert Herbert "Herb" Taylor

 September 1937 - December 1942

 23. Walter Herbert "Herb" Forward

 January 1943 - December 1950

 24. George Lawrence "Larry" Gillick

 January 1951 - December 1982

 25. Hal T. Brooks

 January 1983 - December 1986

 26. Leroy Wood

 January 1987 - December 1990

 27. Mick Grey

 January 1991 - December 1998

 28. Scott A. MacKenzie

 January 1999 - December 2002

 29. Perry L. Reniff

 January 2003 - December 2009

 30. Jerry W. Smith

 January 2010 - Present





Below:  Staff in front of the Sheriff’s Office Administration Bldg in the early days at 33 County Center.



The Sheriff’s Office now has facilities at three locations on County Center Drive:

Administration and the Jail at 33, the East Facility at 31, and the Day Reporting Center at 51.





 Sheriff J. W. Smith 2010-Present





 Sheriff Perry L. Reniff


Sheriff Scott A. Mackenzie 


Sheriff Mick Grey





Sheriff Leroy Wood  


Sheriff Hal T. Brooks


 Sheriff Larry Gillick





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Sheriff's Office

Phone: 530.538.7321

Jail: 530.538.7471

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 BCSO Locations & Hours

Sheriff's Office

33 County Center Dr
Oroville, CA 95965

Chico Substation
479 E. Park Ave
Chico, CA 95928

Magalia Substation
14166 Skyway
Magalia, CA 95954

Office Hours
Monday to Friday
8:00am to 4:30pm