California has 58 counties each charged with the responsibility of investigating certain deaths as enumerated in section 27491 of the California Government Code as the "Coroner." The office of the Coroner is currently filled in one of three official capacities in each of these 58 counties. 4 counties have Medical Examiners, 13 counties have lay Coroners, and 41 have Sheriff-Coroner's fulfilling the role of the Coroner.
Santa Barbara County has had a Sheriff-Coroner fulfilling the Coroner's responsibility since 1947. Sheriff John Ross became the first Santa Barbara County Sheriff-Coroner and today Bill Brown is the Sheriff-Coroner.
The Santa Barbara County Coroner's Office is physically located at 66 South San Antonio Road in Santa Barbara. There is a satellite office at the Santa Maria Sheriff's Sub-Station located at 812-A West Foster Road in Santa Maria.
The Santa Barbara County Coroner's Office is currently staffed by a Sergeant who is the supervisor, a Forensic Pathologist who performs the autopsies, three Coroner's Investigators who conduct the investigations, and one administrative assistant who manages the clerical duties of the office.