When California became a state in 1850, the first counties were established, and Sacramento County was one of them. The Sacramento River, which serves as its western border, inspired the county's name. Gabriel Moraga, a Spanish cavalry officer, gave the river its name in honor of the Catholic Eucharist, or Santisimo Sacramento (Most Holy Sacrament). The historic Franklin Cemetery is the resting place of Lewis & Clark Expedition participant Alexander Hamilton Willard.
The Sacramento County Sheriff oversees the county's entire jail system and provides court security. It offers detective and patrol services for the county's unincorporated areas. Elk Grove, with a population of 170,000, has a municipal department. Citrus Heights, with a population of 88,000, has a municipal department. Folsom, with a population of 78,000, has a municipal department. Isleton, with a population of 73,000, has a sheriff contract. Galt, with a population of 26,000, has a municipal department. Sacramento County is the central county of the Greater Sacramento metropolitan area.
The California Constitution, California law, and the Charter of the County of Sacramento all define and grant authority to the Government of Sacramento County. In reality, county administrations like the Government of Sacramento County are in charge of the majority of California's government, with municipalities like the City of Sacramento and Folsom handling extra, frequently ancillary services.
It is made up of the five elected members of the Board of Supervisors, a number of other elected positions like the Sheriff, District Attorney, and Assessor, as well as several county departments and organizations that fall under the control of the County Executive Officer. Additionally, a number of Californian governmental bodies, like the Sacramento County Superior Court, have authority in areas that include Sacramento County.