Mike MacDonald, President
Beginning his career in law enforcement in 1991 at the age of 18, Michael MacDonald worked as a Reserve Peace Officer for the City of Capitola. He attended Cabrillo College majoring in Criminal Justice and Political Science before transferring to California State University, Chico where he continued majoring in Political Science with a minor in International Relations. His original thoughts were to work for Interpol or the United Nations in some type of law enforcement capacity but later decided to return to his home town of Santa Cruz to dedicate his services to the community he grew up in.
Hired with the Sheriff’s Office in 1997, he has worked as a patrol deputy, a Field Training Officer, Court Security Bailiff and as both a Property Crimes and Persons Crimes Detective before being promoted to Sergeant in 2008. Since being promoted he has supervised patrol shift, both the North and South County Court Houses and is currently assigned to the Sheriff’s Office Community Policing Division where he supervises the South County Service Center.
Sergeant MacDonald has been a member of the Deputy Sheriff’s Association Board for over 14 years. He is currently the Vice President wherein during his tenure he has created the DSA’s 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, “Stars of Justice Inc.” he is very proud of the successes of the DSA while he has been on the board but attributes those success to the members of the DSA Board and the membership itself. “The DSA members are busy enough with their dedication to their profession as Peace Office in our community however, without their hard work and support of the DSA as an organization, the DSA would not have become as successful as it is today with regard to its relationship with both the community and its political leaders. I thank them very much for their extra efforts every day in maintaining its commitment to our community and its youth as the DSA has since 1978.”
Travis Huntsman, Treasurer
Hello, my name is Travis Huntsman. I have been a Sheriff's Deputy since 2008 and a part of Santa Cruz Community since 1984. As a lifetime member of Santa Cruz County, I have been fortunate to spend my years learning and growing in such an amazing place to live. Both a privilege and a blessing in disguise, Santa Cruz has allowed me to develop my skills as an officer and as a person.
After much deliberation for over a year and changing gears in my career path, I decided to pursue my lifelong interest in Law Enforcement in 2008. After completion of the Police Academy, I knew I had found my calling as a public servant.
After only a year and a half as a Deputy, I was asked by a mentor and friend of mine within the Sheriff's Office to join the Deputy Sheriff's Association as a member of the Executive Board. As months passed I quickly found what our organization represented, and how we affected the community.
After holding a position as Secretary for two years, I was asked to assume the responsibilities of Treasurer.
I wanted to be a part of the Deputy Sheriff's Association due to the many unique aspects of the community interaction. The Deputy Sheriff's Association is a non-profit organization that donates to both communities of law enforcement officers and the public, by creating avenues for less fortunate families and their children to enjoy privileges that others have had. I enjoy donating my own time and organizing events to assist in such efforts.
Chris Shearer, Secretary
My name is Christopher Shearer and have worked for the Santa Cruz County Sheriff's Office since 2006. I was born and raised in San Juan Bautista and have since moved to Hollister where I live with my beautiful wife and little girl. Before becoming a deputy sheriff I spent about 7 years working with San Juan Bautista Fire Department in San Benito County. At the fire department I held the rank of captain and oversaw the training division among other responsibilities. Managing the youth fire explorer program sponsored by the Boy Scouts of America the fire department was something I truly enjoyed and felt was the most rewarding assignment. During my time in public safety I have traveled across the country to attend various specialized training's including two sessions at the Emergency Management Institute in Emmitsburg, MD where I studied , training programs, community solutions, and the command system.
I am very excited to be the newest member of the DSA board. I am excited to represent and and be a voice for our members. I feel it’s important to promote the needed partnership between law enforcement and the community by being involved in some capacity or another. Being “just” a member of your community is sometimes not enough; with the challenges our communities face today, it takes all of us to serve and sometimes to even receive. Be an active member of your community and serve. Civil rights activist, Dorothy Height, said it best:
"Without community service, we would not have a strong quality of life. It's important to the person who serves as well as the recipient. It's the way in which we ourselves grow and develop."- Quote from Dorothy Height
Chris Clark, Director at Large
Sgt. Chris Clark was born in the United Kingdom and has had the privilege of moving to many places growing up both in the United States and abroad. Following his honorable discharge from the Air Force in 2006 he came to Santa Cruz County where he has been employed as a Patrol Deputy, Person Crimes Detective, and most recently promoted to Sergeant where he is assigned to Patrol. Sgt. Clark also worked for the Sacramento Sheriff’s Department in 2008 before returning to the Santa Cruz Sheriff’s Office.
Sgt. Clark graduated from Sacramento State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in criminal justice. Sgt. Clark is near completion of his Master’s degree in Emergency Services Administration from California State University at Long Beach. Sgt. Clark is a graduate of the Unites States Marine Corps Officer Candidate School in Quantico, VA and completed the U.S. Air Force ROTC program where he obtained a pilot slot and subsequently attended introductory flight training.
Sgt. Clark is currently assigned to patrol as a patrol supervisor and in addition to his membership on the Deputy Sheriff’s Association he is a pilot on the Sheriff’s Office Air unit, and a Sheriff’s Office Peer Support team member.
As a member of law enforcement within the County of Santa Cruz I believe in the value and importance of community. Santa Cruz County prides itself on community services and outreach and my employment at the Sheriff’s Office and involvement in the Deputy Sheriff’s Association is no different. The Deputy Sheriff’s Association through the support of our membership has the opportunity to change lives through our support of community events and activities. We as Santa Cruz County law enforcement professionals see first-hand every day the effects of bad decision making and failed attempts to change. Although we understand the enormity of society’s problems, we grasp the concept and the hope that lives can be changed for the positive in the brief time we spend with members of our community. I have committed my life to helping change lives and credit our Sheriff’s Office and its members for this opportunity.
Chris Hankes, Director
Hello my name is Chris Hankes. I was born in Santa Cruz County and have been apart of this community for over 30 years. I enlisted in the US Air Force in 2000 and served in New Mexico, England and several other undisclosed locations overseas. I returned back to Santa Cruz in 2008 after serving for 8 years as an A.D. As a retired veteran in 2008, I decided to apply with the Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Office, due to my yearning for public service.
I am drawn to this job and the military for several reasons, primarily due to an innate desire to help others in need. I also enjoy helping the community at special service events and being in a position to positively impact people's lives. Especially those who are less fortunate.
I have chosen to be a part of the Santa Cruz County DSA board because of the many ways that they impact the community and our local Law Enforcement family. Whether the call to assist a family in need or supporting a local junior sports team through donations, I am proud to identify with this non profit organization.
Dan Cruz, Director
I have lived in Santa Cruz since 1982. I grew up in Santa Cruz and have enjoyed being a part of the community. I have been employed by the Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Office since 2007. Upon graduating the police academy I was assigned to the Sheriff’s Patrol Division. During my assignment as a patrol deputy I had the opportunity of working in all areas of Santa Cruz County serving and protecting the community. I am presently working as a detective assigned to the Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Office Investigations Division.
In 2011 I joined the Santa Cruz Deputy Sheriff’s Association Board of Directors. I became a board member to represent the members of the association and serve the community. I am supportive the positive contributions the Deputy Sheriff’s Association makes to the Santa Cruz Community through sponsored events.
Damon Hancock, Director
My name is Damon Hancock, I was raised in Santa Cruz County arriving to this area with my parents and brother in 1976. I graduated Aptos High School and later graduated Chico State University in 1998 with a Bachelor of Arts in Humanities. After graduation I worked in the high tech field and several restaurants as a chef including the former White Magnolia at the Historic Bayview Hotel in Aptos. I later became interested in Law Enforcement and desired to serve in the community I was raised.
I started my career with the Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Office in 2004 as a Deputy Sheriff and later transferred to the Lincoln Police Department where I served as an Officer for four years. During my time as an Officer I held the position of Vice President and later President of the Lincoln Police Officers Association (POA).
I returned to Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Office in 2011 and returned to duty as a Deputy Sheriff where I currently work as a patrol Deputy. I also assist the training of new Deputy Sheriff’s as a Field Training Officer.
I became involved in the POA and later the Deputy Sheriff’s Association (DSA) to help promote the Deputies and their perception in the public’s eye. All too often law enforcement is observed through the eyes of misconceived notions and unfounded truths. The DSA allows Deputies to be seen as not just law enforcement but as humans, capable of kindness, feeling, and emotion. Through the actions of the DSA we are able to reach out to politicians, businesses and people providing community assistance when and where it is needed most. This role is essential and it allows us to share and help within the community we serve.