The history of the Millbrae Police Department began October 1, 1948 with Walter F. Swope as the Chief of Police. There were 3 Police Officers and 1 Special Police Officer. The location of the Police Station was in the 300 block of El Camino Real. In 1958, the Police Department moved to its present location at 581 Magnolia Ave and in 2001 was expanded to its present size. Since Chief Walter Swope, the Police Department has been under the direction of Chief Larry Pickett, Chief John Dineen, Chief Mike Parker, Chief Greg Cowart, Interim Chief Brown Taylor, Director of Public Safety Dennis Haag, Chief Thomas Hitchcock, Interim Chief Lee G. Violett and, Interim Chief Neil Telford.
On Sunday, March 4, 2012, the responsibility to provide law enforcement services for the City of Millbrae transitioned from the Millbrae Police Department to the San Mateo County Sheriff's Office.
The first Sheriff of San Mateo County took office in 1856 when they county was incorporated from parts of San Francisco and Santa Cruz counties. Today, the Sheriff's Office has over 600 sworn and civilian personnel who provide various law enforcement services to all cities in the county. The San Mateo County Sheriff's Office has over 50 years of experience providing contract law enforcement to cities such as Woodside, Portola Valley, East Palo Alto, and Half Moon Bay.
Currently, a full-time Sheriff’s Captain, Paul R. Kunkel, serves as the Chief of Police and works directly with the City of Millbrae. In this role, the Captain is responsible for managing and overseeing law enforcement services. In addition to a full-time Captain, the San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office provides four sworn, uniformed sergeants who provide patrol supervision exclusively within the City. At least two sworn uniformed deputies are staffed twenty-four hours a day, seven days per week. The Millbrae Police Bureau also hosts the San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office- North County Field Operations Division personnel, which includes one Sheriff’s Lieutenant, two Sheriff’s sergeants, and three detectives. These positions provide operational, administrative and investigative services to North County and support the Millbrae Police Bureau in providing professional, efficient and responsive law enforcement services to the residents, businesses and visitors to the City of Millbrae.