Department History

Department Beginnings

The South Lake Tahoe Police Department (SLTPD) was formed July 1, 1967. There were 32 people comprising our agency. We had no reserve officers, and only eight vehicles. All of the original sworn officers, 27 of them in total, came from a variety of other California law enforcement agencies. There were five supporting civilians. The department was born under the leadership of Chief Ray Lauritzen. Our average age was 33, with 7 years street experience. There were 9 jail cells available in the city. Minimum staffing was four cars per watch. The first home of the department was on the southwest corner of Lake Tahoe Boulevard at “D” Street. This is currently the present location of the City Corp. Yard. By the spring of 1969, SLTPD had 33 officers, seven civilian positions, and nine vehicles. We needed a bigger facility.

Department Moves

So during the tenure of John Crow, the second Chief of Police at the helm of SLTPD, the Police Department moved to a month-to-month rental facility at Fremont Avenue and Mono Way. This structure is now the home of Nel’s Hardware store. This building was not constructed as a police facility, and eventually another move was needed. In April of 1973, the department moved to its current location in the El Dorado County Government Center, on Johnson Boulevard. By this time, our agency fielded 36 sworn officers, 11 supporting civilian positions, and 14 vehicles.

While at this location, there have been seven other Chiefs of Police which have diligently served our agency and community: Dean Shelton, David Solaro, Brad Bennett, Don Muren, Terry Daniels, Brian Uhler, and our current Chief David Stevenson. You can review a number of photographs related to our department history in our website’s photo gallery.

Police Department Today

Our agency has developed a rich and proud history. Throughout five decades, our dedicated employees have contributed to building an honorable standing within our community and a strong legacy for future generations. Our future, in full partnership with our community, appears brighter than ever.