Patrol Operations

The Patrol Division is often referred to as the backbone of any police department. The Patrol Division is the the largest division, and most visible symbol of law enforcement, within the Police Department. Its primary responsibility is to provide uniformed law enforcement service to the community.

Uniformed police officers are generally the 1st contact a citizen has with a law enforcement agency. These initial contacts will frequently leave the citizen with a lasting impression of the department, and it is our intention to make that impression a positive one. Our mission is to provide the highest quality law enforcement service in the most effective and efficient manner possible.

South Gate Officers perform a felony stop

Patrol Structure

The Patrol Division is commanded by a Police Captain, staffed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Patrol is divided into 7 Teams of officers, who work a specific Watch. Each Watch is commanded by a Police Lieutenant, and each team is supervised by a Sergeant.

Each team has a Field Training Officer (FTO), who is charged with the responsibility of training new officers who graduate from the Police Academy.

They have additional responsibility for covering all team training evaluation of new employees.

City Patrol Areas

The city is divided into 5 areas. Officers are assigned a specific area during a shift. The Patrol Sergeants are responsible for direct field supervision of the officers. In the absence of a Lieutenant, a Sergeant will assume the title of Watch Commander. The Sergeant's primary mission is to oversee the daily activities of the officers under their direction and to be a resource for training and coordinator of field activities.

Community Service Officers (CSO)

The South Gate Police Department’s CSOs work in the field handling non-enforcement related tasks such as report writing, traffic direction, issuance of citations, and other related tasks. This unit is a critical link in our department’s delivery of service to the community.

CSO’s are trained to collect evidence, take fingerprints and handle a large percentage of calls for service. By doing so, the CSO’s presence assists the Patrol Division by freeing up the officers making them available for in-progress calls for service and other crime prevention measures.

Crime Impact Team (CIT)

The CIT enhances patrol, investigates and gathers intelligence on gang related problems. The CIT conducts arrests, serves arrest and search warrants, provides a comprehensive Field Identification Systems for general department needs, and works with patrol officers and detectives to solve gang crimes. The mission of the unit is to reduce gang violence within the City of South Gate.

Field Training Officer Program

The Field Training Officer Program is intended to facilitate a peace officer’s transition from the academic setting to the performance of general law enforcement uniformed patrol duties. The Field Training Program introduces a newly assigned officer to personnel, procedures, policies, and purposes of the individual law enforcement agency, and provides the initial formal and informal training specific to the agency and the day-to-day duties of its officers.

The Field Training Program is expected to achieve the following goals:

  • Produce a competent peace officer capable of working a solo patrol assignment in a safe, skillful, productive, and professional manner
  • Provide standardized training to all newly assigned regular officers in the practical application of learned information
  • Provide clear standards for rating and evaluation which give all trainees every reasonable opportunity to succeed
  • Enhance the professionalism, job skills, and ethical standards of the law enforcement community

Contact Us

Darren Arakawa
Chief of Police


Police Department

8620 California Avenue
South Gate, CA 90280

Phone: 323-563-5400

Emergency: 911

Staff Directory