Gregory J. Ahern
Alameda County Sheriff-Coroner
Greg Ahern has lived in Alameda County his entire life. His Bay Area upbringing gave him a strong love of family, friendships, and community. Born and raised in Oakland, his parents instilled in him a passion for community service and helping others that serves him well in his career today. He and his wife Kathleen have been married for 36 years and have one adult daughter, who was also raised in Alameda County.
As Sheriff, Greg’s mission is clear: Protect the public, build strong relationships with the community, and prevent people from turning to crime through prevention, enforcement, programs, and service. Greg knows this strategy reduces crime, provides opportunities, and ultimately keeps our communities safer
Greg has been as a proud member of the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office for over 40 years. Growing up working blue-collar jobs in high school and college, Greg learned that the best way to understand people and their struggles was to start at the bottom and work your way up. Greg applied that mentality to his career in law enforcement, working his way up from the front lines and earning promotions through the ranks to become Sheriff in 2006. He credits many people for his successes in law enforcement, including legendary former Alameda County Sheriff, Charles C. Plummer.
Greg has lived and felt many of the difficulties of leadership. He has led this county through many tragic events including Covid-19, record wildfires, active shooter events, the Ghost Ship Fire, civil unrest, and rising crime and violence. When times have been tough, many local, state, and national leaders have looked to Greg for his guidance and expertise. Greg’s experience, vision and commitment have made those tragedies more manageable. That is because he brings compassion, ingenuity, technology, and efficiency to the job. Most importantly, he has brought the most talented, courageous, and qualified people into the Sheriff’s Office to accomplish these dangerous missions.
Greg is most proud of the successful programs he created to build strong, positive relationships between officers and community members. Greg started the Youth and Family Services Bureau, which provides educational, recreational, and employment opportunities to hundreds of young boys and girls and their families. To reduce incarceration and recidivism, he is a strong proponent of effective re-entry programs, including Operation My Home Town, Dig Deep Farms, Deputy Sheriff’s Activities League, and Maximizing Mothers to Succeed which includes re-entry housing opportunities.
Greg believes enforcement and apprehension of dangerous criminals is also an essential part of the Sheriff’s Office mission. Greg created several new units to combat street crimes, gangs, and drunk drivers. He formed an elite cold case investigations unit that successfully solved homicides and sexual assaults, giving closure to families and victims. He formed a skilled community policing unit to address the increasing problems associated with homelessness, addiction, illegal street drugs, and firearms. He mandated all rape kits be tested and the results stored to identify and capture predators who commonly abuse women and children.
Greg is firmly committed to transparency, de-escalation, and advanced training so that public interactions with law enforcement are always fair, safe, and professional. Greg was one of the first executives in the nation to equip officers with body cameras, drones, and other tools to safely arrest and detain violent suspects - while reducing deadly force encounters.
Law enforcement is dangerous, unpredictable, and often things go very wrong. This includes natural and human made disasters. After the tragic events of September 11th, 2001, Greg created the most advanced training ever imagined for first responders called “Urban Shield.” For more than a decade, Urban Shield provided thousands of law enforcement, fire fighters, and EMS professionals with some of the most advanced disaster training in the world. His Urban Shield exercises also trained many members of the public on disaster preparedness and lifesaving skills. He has continued the mission of Urban Shield through the new and innovative SWAT Fitness Challenge, with proceeds from this event donated to the George Mark Children’s House. In addition, Greg brought AC Alert and Zonehaven to Alameda County so that community members could receive real time information on emergencies and evacuations. Greg knows that empowering and educating communities in emergencies makes us all safer.
Greg is a committed, tested, experienced, and proven leader in law enforcement. He is honored to represent Alameda County alongside the diverse and courageous men and women who make up the Sheriff’s Office. He is the most qualified person to be your Sheriff, and he is looking forward to serving you for another four years. There has never been a more critical time to have a proven and effective leadership.