? CRIME ?
Bernardino County San Bernardino County
Supervisors First District Sheriff John McMahon
August 11, 2017__Written by Supervisor Lovingood
California is out of control in so many ways, but especially when it comes to
protecting the public from criminals!
In the last several years, Sacramento has dropped
its responsibilities to protect our families and embarked on a social
experiment – a series of misguided laws and policies that have released
thousands of dangerous criminals from state prison and put them on our streets.
The state has also reduced penalties for many
At the same time, the state has pushed hardened,
career criminals into our county jails, taking up valuable space for new
offenders and increasing the San Bernardino County’s costs for beds and health
care. These state policies are harming communities all over California and,
together, we need to do something about it.
Recently, San Bernardino
County Sheriff John McMahon reported that violent
crime is up 20 percent in the High Desert during the first half of this year.
It is taking a toll on real people, like an innocent 12-year-old girl who was
inside her home Wednesday night when someone walked up and fired multiple shots
through a front window, killing her.
With more criminals on
the street, we need more cops on the beat.
? SOLUTIONS ?
I encourage residents
around the County to begin debating a countywide ballot measure for a sales tax
dedicated strictly to public safety. As the need is carefully studied, then a
determination can be made whether a possible ballot measure would be for a
quarter, half, or three-quarter cent tax.
I do not believe in tax
increases, and I’m sure you don’t either. In my view, we already pay enough in
taxes. But until we get more right-minded legislators in Sacramento, we need a
self-help solution to solve the crime problem.
On a $100 purchase, a quarter-cent sales tax would
cost consumers an additional 25 cents that would go to public safety,
including Fire services, which are stretched thin or have been eliminated in
many critical areas including interstate corridors. That would generate an
estimated $81 million a year and directly translate into more Sheriff Deputies,
more prosecutors and funds to add 1,300 beds in the new jail to put more
criminals behind bars.
The Victorville City
Council sees the same problem and recently supported the idea of a city-wide
When we let criminals
know that San Bernardino County is serious and has plenty of jail cells
waiting for them, crooks will start migrating elsewhere. And that will be good
for our children, our families, businesses and property values.
San Bernardino County
used to send over 400 inmates to state prison every month. Now, because of
California’s so-called criminal justice reforms
(?), we send less than 100. County jails used to house inmates for a year or
less. Now inmates who previously would have been in state prison are spending
10 or 15 years in county jails.
Unfortunately these are
all problems made in Sacramento, but we will have to rely on ourselves to solve
the crime problem. Back in 1989, voters in San Bernardino County approved Measure
I, the countywide half-cent sales tax for transportation improvements. It’s
been such a success that in 2004, 80 percent of voters overwhelmingly extended
In 10 years, we can
completely reshape the destiny of San Bernardino County and make it one of
the safest counties in the state. If we don’t start that discussion now, we
are going to lose the battle.
Maybe a sales tax is part
of the answer, or maybe not. But in the end, it will be up to voters to decide
the path ahead.