Sheriff Rod Hoops is San Bernardino County’s new top cop. He replaced retired Sheriff Gary Penrod earlier this month.
So far, so good, according to some people we talked with.
“Law enforcement? I got no complaints against them whatsoever,” said one county resident.
“They do a great job. They keep traffic down more and, for the most part, they just been doing a great job out there,” another resident approved.
But, others are not so pleased, like Kellie Lord. She has seen crime grow as the population grows.
“[There are] a lot more people moving into the area and not enough officers out there to, in my opinion, to delegate, be vigilant,” Lord pointed out. “It’s great we have Citizens On Patrol, but they can only do so much.”
It’s a fact Sheriff Hoops understands.
“The community involvement at the Morongo Basin Station is unlike any other station,” Sheriff Hoops praised. “When they have a community volunteer recognition event, they get 200-some people there.”
But the biggest issue he faces is the budget. He’s looking at ways to cut costs like reducing overtime.
Sheriff Hoops plans to meet with all the stations in the county in the next few weeks to determine what cuts could possibly be made, but he promises one thing: that patrol will not be cut.
“The basic bread and butter is the patrol deputy in the field. When a person dials 911 they want someone to show up. Everything else that we do, in my opinion, is a support for that.”
Sheriff Hoops also wants to make money by renting out jail beds to the state. Right now, the county rents out 200 beds and renting an additional 300 beds could generate up to $3 million.
But a federal ruling forcing California to release a third of its prison inmates could change that plan.