San Joaquin County
The California Constitution and California law establish and grant general law county status to the San Joaquin County Government. In reality, county administrations like the one in San Joaquin County are in charge of a large portion of California's government. Elections and voter registration, law enforcement, jails, vital records, property records, tax collection, public health, and social services are all provided by the county government. The County additionally acts as the local authority for all unincorporated areas. Some cities with charters, like Tracy and Stockton, offer their own municipal services like zoning, public safety, police, and libraries.
In addition, a number of California government agencies have jurisdiction in or near San Joaquin County, including the San Joaquin County Superior Court and the Deuel Vocational Institution, a state prison run by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation in unincorporated San Joaquin County close to Tracy.
The San Joaquin 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. For its police services, Lathrop has a contract with the Sheriff. Stockton, which has a population of 310,000, Tracy, 89,000, Manteca, 77,000, Lodi, 65,000, Lathrop, 23,000 (under a sheriff contract), Ripon, 17,000, and Escalon, 7,200 are the cities within the county that have municipal police forces.
When California became a state in 1850, San Joaquin County was one of the first U.S. counties established in the Golden State. San Joaquin River, which flows through the county, served as inspiration for its name. The San Joaquin River, which originates from the southern Sierra Nevada, was given the name San Joaquin (meaning Joachim) by Lieutenant Gabriel Moraga in the early 19th century while he was in charge of an expedition in the lower great California Central Valley. The earliest permanent house in the San Joaquin Valley was located in San Joaquin County.