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UPDATED OCTOBER 2020 | The following reflects the adopted Countywide Plan and is presented for public review as a beta version of the web-based Policy Plan. Graphics, photos, and search functionality are in development and will be included in subsequent releases of the web-based Plan.


  • Introduction

    The benefits, public goods, and investments associated with a high quality of life in San Bernardino County—strong neighborhoods, economic prosperity, cradle-to-career education, a vibrant culture, and civic engagement—can only be achieved when people experience a real and perceived sense of safety. Public safety is also directly related to the County’s resilience—its ability to adapt to changing conditions and prepare for, withstand, and rapidly recover from disruption or disasters.

    The County provides law enforcement, including crime prevention, in unincorporated areas and under contract to some incorporated jurisdictions. It also provides some countywide law enforcement services, including the coroner, and when requested, special investigation assistance to incorporated jurisdictions. The County is also responsible for: the administration of justice, both prosecutions and public defenders, for crimes committed in the county; operation of County jails, including rehabilitation of inmates in its custody; holistically rehabilitate and assist the reentry and transition of parolees, probationers, and others living in the county engaged by the criminal justice system, and assistance to victims of and witnesses to crimes committed in the county.

    The County Fire District provides fire prevention services, fire protection for wild fires and urban fires, and emergency medical response in unincorporated areas, portions of incorporated jurisdictions included in the district, and, under contract, in some incorporated jurisdictions. The County plans for and responds to emergencies and natural disasters countywide, and County Fire also provides regional urban search and rescue services.

    The Sheriff is responsible for law enforcement and is elected by voters countywide. The Board of Supervisors appropriates funds to supplement state and federal funding for law enforcement.  Achieving the Policy Plan’s goals for law enforcement is, thus, a collaborative effort between the Board of Supervisors and the Sheriff. The Sheriff also provides countywide wilderness rescue services.

    The County makes a maintenance of effort payment for courts, but the state is primarily responsible for funding courts and fully responsible for any expansion. However, the County funds the elected District Attorney’s office, the Public Defender’s office, and the Sheriff’s department’s court services. Thus, state decisions on court funding will influence the ability of the County to achieve this element’s law and justice goal.

  • Purpose

    The Personal and Property Protection Element:

    • Promotes continuous improvement in the provision of public safety and administration of justice.
    • Supports coordinated and effective interagency response to emergencies and natural disasters.
    • Provides policy direction to engage communities and respond to identified needs.
    • Fosters collaboration among the Board of Supervisors-directed agencies and departments and the elected Sheriff and District Attorney.
    • Augments, rather than replaces, state- and federally-mandated goals and objectives.
  • Principles

    We believe:

    • Public safety and administration of justice is a fundamental responsibility of county government, and a key determinant of quality of life.
    • Maintaining and improving a real and perceived sense of public safety is necessary to attract private investment in residences and businesses.
    • A collaborative effort among County agencies and other organizations is required to prevent crime, assist victims of and witnesses to crime, and holistically rehabilitate and aid the reentry and transition of parolees, probationers, and others engaged in the criminal justice system.
    • A regional approach to fire suppression and emergency response is effective and cost-efficient.
    • Minimizing the loss of life and property during emergencies and natural disasters requires collaborative planning, preparation, and execution.


  • Goal PP-1 Law Enforcement

    Effective crime prevention and law enforcement that leads to a real and perceived sense of public safety for residents, visitors, and businesses.

    Policy PP-1.1      Law enforcement services
    The Sheriff’s Department provides law enforcement services for unincorporated areas and distributes resources geographically while balancing levels of service and financial resources with continuously changing needs for personal and property protection.

    Policy PP-1.2      Contract law enforcement
    When requested, the Sheriff’s Department provide law enforcement services to incorporated jurisdictions by contract at the full cost of services as determined by the County, without direct subsidy by the County.

    Policy PP-1.3      Holistic approach to crime prevention
    We recognize that the roots of crime are found throughout a spectrum of psychological, social, economic, and environmental issues, and we coordinate proactive planning and activities among the Sheriff’s Department and county and non-county agencies and organizations to intervene and effectively prevent crime.

    Policy PP-1.4      Crime prevention resource allocation
    The Sheriff’s Department uses crime data analysis, professional expertise, and community input to allocate patrols and other crime prevention resources.

    Policy PP-1.5      Community-based crime prevention
    The Sheriff’s Department provides a range of outreach, education, and training programs for community-based and school-based crime prevention.

    Policy PP-1.6      Agency partnerships
    The Sheriff’s Department partners with other local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies and private security providers to enhance law enforcement service.

    Policy PP-1.7      Community partnerships
    The Sheriff’s Department establishes and maintains partnerships to help identify public safety needs, strengthen community confidence, and improve service to our communities.

    Policy PP-1.8      Public awareness
    The Sheriff’s Department engages the media and our communities to improve the public’s perception and awareness of personal and property protection and safety.

    Policy PP-1.9      Periodic needs assessment
    The Sheriff’s Department periodically assesses their facility, equipment, and staffing needs and use the assessment to allocate funding resources in the annual budget and capital improvement program.

    Policy PP-1.10    Qualified workforce
    The Sheriff’s Department attracts and retains a qualified workforce of law enforcement and support personnel, reflective of the people they serve, and invest in training and ongoing education.

  • Goal PP-2 Law and Justice

    An equitable justice system for violations of law in the county, adequate care and effective rehabilitation for inmates in the County’s custody, and the holistic rehabilitation and aided reentry and transition of parolees, probationers, and others living in the county engaged by the criminal justice system.

    Policy PP-2.1      Equity
    We, in conjunction with the Sheriff’s Department, monitor and improve our law and justice functions, including for those accused of violating state and local law, victims, and witnesses, to ensure that individuals and corporations are treated equitably.

    Policy PP-2.2      Capacity
    We advocate for and support sufficient capacity in the justice system, including the criminal and civil courts, District Attorney’s office, and Public Defender’s office, to effectively and efficiently adjudicate violations of law committed in the county.

    Policy PP-2.3      Information sharing
    We continually improve the sharing of non-privileged information from the time of arrest through trial, among the Sheriff’s Department and city police departments, courts, District Attorney’s office, Public Defender’s office, and Probation Department.

    Policy PP-2.4      Housing and care of inmates
    We provide adequate care and effective rehabilitation for those incarcerated in County jails or housed in County juvenile detention facilities, consistent with state and federal law, and we advocate for adequate state funding.

    Policy PP-2.5      Support for victims and witnesses
    In conjunction with the District Attorney’s office, we provide supportive services for victims of and witnesses to crime through a holistic approach considering physical, psychological, and basic needs.

    Policy PP-2.6      Recidivism
    To prevent recidivism, we provide holistic rehabilitation to those incarcerated and engaged in the reentry process, and provide coordinated services through the departments and agencies associated with law and justice, human services, economic development, and housing, as well as other agencies and nongovernmental organizations.

  • Goal PP-3 Fire and Emergency Medical

    Reduced risk of death, injury, property damage, and economic loss due to fires and other natural disasters, accidents, and medical incidents through prompt and capable emergency response.

    Policy PP-3.1      Fire and emergency medical services
    We maintain a sufficient number and distribution of fire stations, up-to-date equipment, and fully-trained staff to respond effectively to emergencies.

    Policy PP-3.2      Fire District
    We support the expansion of the Fire District to serve additional incorporated jurisdictions, and the use of special funding and financing mechanisms to augment Fire District revenues to improve service and coverage.

    Policy PP-3.3      Search and rescue
    We maintain up-to-date equipment and fully-trained staff to provide urban search and rescue and swift water rescue emergency response.

    Policy PP-3.4      Fire prevention services
    We proactively mitigate or reduce the negative effects of fire, hazardous materials release, and structural collapse by implementing the California Fire Code, adopted with County amendments.

    Policy PP-3.5      Firefighting water supply and facilities
    We coordinate with water providers to maintain adequate water supply, pressure, and facilities to protect people and property from urban fires and wildfires.

    Policy PP-3.6      Concurrent protection services
    We require that fire department facilities, equipment, and staffing required to serve new development are operating prior to, or in conjunction with new development.

    Policy PP-3.7      Fire safe design
    We require new development in the Fire Safety Overlay to comply with additional site design, building, and access standards to provide enhanced resistance to fire hazards.

    Policy PP-3.8      Fire-adapted communities
    We inform and prepare our residents and businesses to collaboratively plan and take action to more safely coexist with the risk of wildfires.

    Policy PP-3.9      Street and premise signage
    We require adequate street signage and premise identification be provided and maintained to ensure emergency services can quickly and efficiently respond.

    Policy PP-3.10    Community outreach
    We engage with local schools, community groups, and businesses to increase awareness of fire risk, prevention, and evacuation.

    Policy PP-3.11    Post-burn risks
    In areas burned by wildfire, we require new and reconstructed development to adhere to current development standards, and may require additional study to evaluate increased flooding, debris flow, and mudslide risks.

    Policy PP-3.12    Fire protection and emergency medical resource allocation
    We use fire and emergency services data analysis and professional expertise to allocate resources, reduce fire risks, and improve emergency response.

    Policy PP-3.13    Periodic needs assessment
    We periodically assess our facility, equipment, and staffing needs and use the assessment to allocate funding resources in the annual budget and capital improvement program.

    Policy PP-3.14    Qualified workforce
    We attract and retain a qualified workforce of fire fighters, emergency medical technicians, and support personnel, and invest in training and ongoing education.

  • Goal PP-4 Emergency Preparedness and Recovery

    A reduced risk of and impact from injury, loss of life, property damage, and economic and social disruption resulting from emergencies, natural disasters, and potential changes in climate.

    Policy PP-4.1      Emergency management plans
    We maintain, update, and adopt the Emergency Operations Plan, Continuity of Operations Plan, and the Multi-Jurisdictional Hazard Mitigation Plan. Plan updates are coordinated with wildfire hazard planning efforts of outside agencies, such as CALFIRE Strategic Fire Plan, Community Wildfire Protection Plans, U.S. Forest Service, military institutions, California Fire Safe Council and other non-profit stakeholder groups, and other applicable local, state, and federal agencies.

    Policy PP-4.2      Critical and essential facility operation
    We ensure that critical and essential County facilities remain operational during emergencies.

    Policy PP-4.3      Automatic and mutual aid
    We participate in agreements for automatic and mutual aid with other local, state, federal, and nongovernmental emergency service providers to improve protection services and emergency response throughout the county.

    Policy PP-4.4      Emergency shelters and routes
    We identify and publicize emergency shelters and sign and control evacuation routes for use during emergencies.

    Policy PP-4.5      Vulnerable populations
    We coordinate with and encourage the use of community-based networks to aid vulnerable populations prepare for emergencies and provide assistance with evacuation and recovery.

    Policy PP-4.6      Recovery
    We reestablish and expedite County services to assist affected residents and businesses in the short- and long-term recovery from emergencies and natural disasters.

    Policy PP-4.7      Public outreach and education
    We engage with the community to increase awareness of and preparedness for emergencies and natural disasters.