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The Madera County Sheriff's Office was formed in 1893, the same year the County of Madera was founded. The county’s first Sheriff, W.H. Thurman, served from 1893 to 1895.
Now serving his second term in Office, Sheriff Jay Varney is the 15th Sheriff to serve Madera County. Sheriff Varney is the Chief Law Enforcement Officer and Chief Coroner of Madera County. He is responsible for providing public protection and investigating crimes that occur within the unincorporated areas of Madera County.  He and his staff are also responsible for determining the cause, manner and circumstances of specified deaths in Madera County.  
Sheriff Varney brings with him 36-years of law enforcement experience.  He currently serves as the California Peace Officer Association (CPOA) President and is on the California State Sheriffs’ Association (CSSA) Coroner Committee.
During Sheriff Varney’s first term of service, with the support of the community and the Board of Supervisors, the Sheriff's Office was able to implement a K9 unit, expand seasonal lake patrols, enlarge the number of students participating in the Sheriff's Office Explorer post, as well as construct and staff a morgue facility.
The Madera County Sheriff’s Office is divided into four divisions which operate under the direction of Sheriff Varney. Those divisions are the Patrol Division, Investigations Division, Special Operations Division and Professional Standards Division.


Mission Statement

The Madera County Sheriff's Office mission is to actively partner with the community to provide superior service, promote safety, maintain order, and uphold the Constitution.  


We aspire to be a premier law enforcement agency that provides excellent service to our community by increasing resources, utilizing the latest technology coupled with a proactive, innovative approach.  


  • Integrity – Integrity is the hallmark of the Sheriff’s Office and we are committed to the highest performance standards, ethical conduct, and truthfulness in all relationships. We hold ourselves accountable for our actions and take pride in a professional level of service with fairness and consideration to all.
  • Respect – We treat all persons in a dignified and courteous manner, and exhibit understanding of ethnic and cultural diversity, both in our professional and personal endeavors. We are committed to upholding the principles and values embodied in the constitutions of United States and the State of California.
  • Service – We provide innovative, quality service in a courteous, compassionate, efficient, and accessible manner.
  • Partnerships – Developing relationships with community members and other agencies to continually improve our level of service.


The purpose of the Madera County Sheriff’s Office Policy Manual is to provide a framework for the day to day operations of the Sheriff’s Office.

While no manual can cover every situation, contingency, or behavior, the members of the Madera County Sheriff’s Office strive to do their best in any situation they face. The information and direction provided in this Policy Manual assist in making those decisions effectively, and in a manner that reflects our mission, vision, and values. 

A copy of the policy manual can be downloaded here.

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