Thefts rise after California reduces criminal penalties

California voters’ decision to reduce penalties for drug and property crimes in 2014 contributed to a jump in car burglaries, shoplifting and other theft, researchers reported. Larcenies increased about 9 percent by 2016, or about 135 more thefts per 100,000 residents than if tougher penalties had remained, according to results of a study by the nonpartisan Public Policy Institute of California. Thefts from motor vehicles accounted for about three-quarters of the increase.

Man breaking into a car
Summer 2018

Supervisor Lovingood advocates for additional crime sweeps funds

Sheriff’s deputy questioning a gang member In the recently approved budget, the Board of Supervisors allocated $1 million in additional funding for Sheriff’s operational overtime to conduct specialized crime sweeps. “These special funds will help Sheriff McMahon and his team conduct targeted enforcement operations on repeat offenders,” Supervisor Lovingood said. “These sweeps are a proven and effective way to keep the pressure on and deter criminals.” Last year’s “Desert Guardian” operations in the High Desert resulted in 834 arrests, while supplemental countywide sweeps resulted in 660 arrests.

Sheriff’s crime task force meeting with Supervisor Lovingood

Will 2018 be a ‘sweet spot’ in the Inland Empire’s housing market cycle?

Business activity index There are no signs of a bubble in sight and this year may be the best opportunity in a long time for first-time buyers and others to become homeowners, according to a new analysis by the UC Riverside School of Business Center for Economic Forecasting and Development. The new analysis suggests that when the next recession does materialize it is unlikely to be as severe as the last downturn in part because of the Inland Empire’s economic growth and fundamental changes in the local economy. Although the median price of a home still falls short of its pre-recession peak, the Inland Empire’s housing market has registered steady gains ever since the recovery began in earnest. Since 2011 prices have doubled in the area and given economic and housing market fundamentals, many Inland Empire communities are expected to surpass their pre-recession price peak this year.

Colonel Karega honored for service at MCLB

Colonel Karega
Colonel Sekou Karega, Commander of the Marine Corps Logistics Base Barstow, relinquished command to Colonel Craig C. Clemans during ceremonies in July.

Among his accomplishments, Colonel Karega played a pivotal role in providing military tents to shelter homeless people at the Fairgrounds in Victorville during the winter of 2017-18. “It has been my absolute honor and privilege to have known Colonel Karega,” Supervisor Lovingood said. “He and his team of Marines performed magnificently, and the High Desert community owes them a debt of gratitude.”

County coalition houses 1000th homeless veteran

SemperFi Marine Corps veteran Quintin Sherard of Victorville is now the 1000th homeless veteran to receive a permanent housing in San Bernardino County. “I am so proud of the life-changing work done by San Bernardino County and our non-profit partners in reducing homelessness among veterans,” Supervisor Lovingood said. In 2015, the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors supported the formation of the Homeless Veteran Community Planning Group – a group of local agencies that pooled skills and resources to find permanent homes and provide supportive services for homeless military veterans.

Abundant Living program gives former inmates “New Hope”

New Hope pastors Abundant Living Family Church’s “New Hope” program helps put newly released jail inmates on track for a new and stable life, according to Abundant Living’s Pastor Mark Graham. Led by Corey Moore, the all-volunteer program provides clothing, food, cell phone access and transportation to the individuals who are released. As of May 31, 2018, the program has serviced over 13,445 individuals reentering our community.

Supervisor Lovingood talking with Pastor Graham The “New Hope” program is adding statistical measurement, case management for the individuals being released and a focused effort on children of those incarcerated and youth who have had a negative contact with law enforcement. “It is our hope to stop the incarceration in the first place,” Pastor Graham said. “Abundant Living has created a program called, ‘Pathfinders’ and we are partnering with Desert Mountain Community School, which is an alternative education program for youth who are struggling in the traditional educational setting,” the Pastor said. “Our staff, works on three campuses, five days a week mentoring students, doing strength-based assessments and career and college planning.” From January to June 2018 program volunteers have mentored over 90 students (over 75% of the student enrollment) making over 370 continuous mentoring contacts. Students who were not doing well are advancing in a positive manner, no more negative contact with law enforcement and some are going on to further their education. “Finally,” Pastor Graham said, “our greatest opportunity is getting our “Sleep Center” online so we can safely provide a place for individuals who are homeless or just being released from incarceration a place to rest and regroup while we help them put together a plan.” For more information, visit

Dog tags with flag in them

Hundreds turn out for Supervisor Lovingood’s 5th annual Veterans Resource Fair

High Desert veterans of all age groups turned out in force for Supervisor Lovingood’s fifth annual Veterans Resource Fair. One veteran who served in Vietnam received information on getting checked out for possible health effects from Agent Orange exposure. Another who served in the National Guard discovered for the first time that he does, indeed, qualify as a veteran. Some vets received free health checkups from the Arrowhead Regional Medical Center mobile clinic.

Supervisor Lovingood talking with a veteran
“Information is a powerful tool and this Veterans Resource Fair puts the power of information right in the hands of our great vets,” said Supervisor Lovingood, who has coordinated the event for the past five years. For information on veterans services, contact the San Bernardino County Department of Veterans Affairs at (760) 995-8010 or visit the office at 15900 Smoke Tree St. in Hesperia.


U.S. needs more tradespeople

The United States has 30 million jobs that pay an average of $55,000 per year and don’t require a bachelor’s degree, according to Georgetown University’s Center on Education and the Workforce. People with career and technical educations are actually slightly more likely to be employed than their counterparts with academic credentials, and significantly more likely to be working in their fields of study.

County wins 42 awards from National Association of Counties

National Association of Counties San Bernardino County programs that enhanced services for children and seniors, promoted civic engagement and encouraged literacy are among 42 groundbreaking initiatives that won 2018 Achievement Awards from the National Association of Counties. The Department of Public Health won five awards from NACo for working with cities to develop a Healthy Communities plan, helping restaurants reduce food-borne illnesses, and improving monitoring of mosquito-borne diseases throughout the county. Aging and Adult Services won four awards for streamlining services for seniors and their families. Since 2010, San Bernardino County has won 284 awards from NACo, an organization that honors innovative, effective county government programs that enhance services for residents.

Workforce Development Board helps Army Veteran

Nick O’Neill started his career in the Army working as a specialist on unmanned aircraft vehicles and jumping out of planes. One jump ended it all when he broke his back. After leaving the Army, he relocated to Victorville and enrolled in Victor Valley College’s School of Aviation Technology. During the first week of school, the San Bernardino County Workforce Development Board visited the classes to share information on assistance available. For students such as O’Neill, the WDB can provide career counseling, supportive services such as books, parking permits, transportation and other assistance. O’Neill also attended a WDB Job Fair where he landed a job with General Atomics, a leading designer and manufacturer of Unmanned Aircraft Systems in the High Desert. “I knew that General Atomics specialized in unmanned aircraft systems, which is what I had worked on during my time in the Army. Thanks to the Job Fair, I was offered a position as an airframe and power plant specialist. I hope to move up the ranks quickly and show them what I can do,” O’Neill said. Employers and job seekers who are interested in the Workforce Development Board programs may call: 800.451.JOBS or visit On Facebook visit

Sign up for emergency notifications

In an effort to quickly communicate information on impending dangers, the San Bernardino County Sheriff and Fire Departments send high-speed mass notifications via telephone and text messages. This system is known as the Telephone Emergency Notification System (TENS). The County uses a database of landline telephone Email alerts numbers, which is updated every six months, to send emergency messages to landline phones only. Residents can also receive emergency text messages on their cell phones, add voice over internet phone numbers (V.O.I.P.), and manage their own account using a valid email address. Those without internet connections can sign up by calling 2-1-1 or (888) 435-7565. Sign up at tens/tenscontact.aspx

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