Sheriff McMahon offers insights at Chamber’s 'State of the County'

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While Sacramento politicians are making the work of deputies more difficult, Sheriff John McMahon said his department is using new approaches to go after criminals. “This year, again, the Board of Supervisors allocated another $1 million countywide to help the men and women of our organization put pressure on those criminals,” McMahon told a packed audience at the Victor Valley Chamber’s recent “State of the County” presentation. “We going after those gang members that are causing the most trouble,” McMahon said. “When we go after them, we know we’re going to find the guns. We’re going to find the drugs. We’re going to find the human trafficking. And those are the folks that are causing us the most trouble.”

Last year, the crime suppression efforts yielded 700 felony arrests, 480 guns taken off the streets and $14 million in illegal drugs, including 600 pounds of methamphetamine. In the first month of this year’s operation, our San Bernardino County deputies have already made 70 felony arrests and seized 45 guns.

McMahon said Sheriff’s stations are seeing a decline in reported property crime, largely because state laws have redefined some crimes and reduced penalties so fewer victims report property crimes. Stations are seeing a spike in violent crimes. McMahon highlighted efforts to reduce recidivism, including programs with Abundant Living Church in Hesperia and apprenticeship programs with unions so inmates can leave jail with skills to earn a livable wage that keeps them from going back to jail.

“So with the support of the Board of Supervisors, the cities and all of you, we’re in great shape,” McMahon told the crowd. “We’re moving in the right direction. Homelessness is still a challenge. Crime is still a challenge. But we’re not giving up. This is a great place to live. And I love the energy here.”