Serious Crime

Only 20% of criminal behavior is serious. The overwhelming majority of our criminal conduct relates to mental health, addiction disease and the effects of poverty. Each must be addressed but require very different methods.

Serious crime that threatens the safety and lives of our community must be attacked strategically and forcefully. Police work is dangerous and demanding that must be conducted within constitutional boundary’s.  All communities need and want excellent men and women willing to bravely patrol the streets in a manner that reinforces trust and respect. Any cop will tell you that when the community distrusts the police witnesses do not come forward because of fear. Good community partnerships promote excellent policing. But to establish this relationship we cannot keep losing our good officers to other agencies due to their low pay in San Bernardino. Well paid police will stay here and develop these good trusting community relationships that are mutually beneficial.

Much of police work is responding to calls related to what can generally be has described as vagrancy conduct. The mentally ill person in need of medical treatment, the addict who overdosed, aggressive panhandling, loitering, illegal camping, public intoxication and the like. These crimes interfere with businesses trying to sell goods, can make persons uncomfortable when getting coffee, and generally way on our collective consciousness because it is a reminder that there are individuals who suffer. We for too long now have burdened our law enforcement agencies to manage this widespread social problem.

Rather than calling law enforcement I will tirelessly work to educate our community on alternative ways to intervene with vagrancy crimes. The first most important thing to know is that when a deputy is engaged with low level vagrancies they are not engaged in fighting serious crime. Moreover, when the officer transport the person to jail, that deputy is off the street for quite a long time. Some communities, like our Mountain communities, this leaves the area with sometimes one or two deputies left to respond to calls. We can rely heavily on the great work of our Department of Behavioral Health staff who every day and night 24/7 work our streets to intervene and redirect our fellow residents in need into a safer healthy environment.

When a clinician cannot successfully engage a person into treatment and there is a public offence and officer or deputy should have an alternative to jail. Within my first 100 days I will propose to our Courts that we must have a “Courtroom of Upward Mobility.” This is a courtroom that an arresting officer can bring a low level offender before a magistrate who, after determining probable cause, will explain to the arrested person their choice is to go to jail or to Behavioral Health for a needs assessment. Most will choose the behavioral health option and the deputy will quickly back on the street fighting crime. This saves jail resources and most importantly will connect persons to the services they need.

Our Courtroom of Upward Mobility will be the first step in reducing the individuals who exhaust most of our police resources.


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