Values for the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Dept

Value One:   

Policing in San Bernardino County involves major responsibility and authority. The San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department cannot carryout its responsibility alone. Consequently, we must be willing to involve the community in all aspects of policing which directly impacts the quality of community life.

(Commentary) This value will convey the message that the department members are public safety professionals who serve as the community’s key resource in efforts to deal with crime problems, safety, and disorder control. But the Sheriff’s Department is not solely responsible for these efforts. The community must share equally with the department the responsibility of developing a safe and orderly environment. To achieve such collaboration and shared responsibility requires the department to willingly permit the community to have access to decision making, policy information, and information about department operations.


Value Two:   

The San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department under my leadership will believe that it has a responsibility to react to criminal behavior in a way that emphasizes prevention that is marked by vigorous law enforcement.

(Commentary) The purpose of this value is to convey the message that the primary focus of the department is crime prevention, working to prevent crimes from occurring. When crimes do occur, the department must assertively react with vigorous law enforcement activity. Vigorous enforcement of law is an important deterrent to serious crime. The department must be committed to working with the community in efforts to prevent crime from occurring. The department must aggressively move towards arrest and prosecution of perpetrators when crime occurs. This value is also designed to address those who argued that community involvement make you look weak.


Value Three:

The San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department will adhere to the fundamental                           principle that it must deliver its services in a manner that preserves and advances democratic values.

(Commentary) This value is developed to convey the message that as an agent of a law enforcement agency in a democratic society, a deputy sheriff must be the living expression of the values, meaning and potential of democracy. Deputies must not only know the most effective techniques for enforcing the law and maintaining order, they must do so in a manner that serves to preserve and extend the precious values of a democratic society. Meaning, the officers must not only respect, but also respect the rights of all citizens as guaranteed by the United States Constitution. In doing so, the department will become the most important officials in the vast structure of government.


Value Four:  

The Department will be committed to delivering police services in a manner which will best reinforce the strengths of the counties neighborhoods that we serve.

(Commentary) This value is designed to convey the message that as the newly elected sheriff has a new and improved operation designed to work towards strengthening the quality of life in the neighborhoods throughout the county. It is based on the knowledge that people live in neighborhoods and identify with localized areas. Officer beat boundaries, community service programs, crime prevention efforts, and related activities should be directed towards strengthening and improving neighborhood life.


Value Five:   

The San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department is committed to allowing public input in the development of its policies which directly impact neighborhood life.

(Commentary) This value is written to convey the message that if the department will work collaboratively with the community in carrying out crime interception and prevention activities, the community must have input in the development of police policies which impact the quality of life in neighborhoods. This policy addresses the problem that for too long law enforcement agencies had isolated themselves from the community, often limiting community involvement to “Support Your Local Law Enforcement” type activities. To add meaning to the department’s belief that collaboration is important, the community must be allowed to assist the department in developing policies that are operationally sound and acceptable to citizens.


Value Six:    

The Department will collaboratively work with neighbors to understand the true nature of the neighborhoods crime problems and develop meaningful cooperative strategies which will best deal with those problems.

(Commentary)  This strategy is developed to convey the message that the police cannot effectively deal with the crime problem alone. For that reason, the sheriff’s department must commit itself to a major effort of working at the neighborhood level, with residents and businesses jointly developing strategies to impact crime patterns. This cooperative relationship is based on joint planning, active deputy involvement in neighborhood activities and shared responsibility for carrying out crime interception and prevention strategies. As part of this effort, the department will provide neighborhoods with accurate and meaningful descriptions of crime problems so residents and businesses can fully understand the nature and extent of the problems.


Value Seven:

The Department will actively seek the input and involvement of all employees in matters that impact job performance, and will manage the organization in a manner that will enhance employee job satisfaction and effectiveness.

(Commentary) This value is developed to convey the message that effective management must include the active participation of employees in policy development, procedure, strategic design and program formulation. The involvement of officers in the design of the (directed area responsibility team program, a pilot project that will enhance Neighborhood Oriented Policing and operated in one part of the county, and designed fear reduction strategies under the Law Enforcement Foundation/National Institute Justice program will serve as examples of how involvement could pay substantial benefits. Policies, which directly impact employee job satisfaction, such as transfer policies, will be addressed with active input from the employees potentially impacted.


Value Eight: 

The Department will be committed to maintaining the highest levels of integrity and professionalism in all its operations.

(Commentary) This value was designed to convey the message that integrity of the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department must not be compromised and that there should be neither questions nor suspicions among citizens regarding department ethics. It’s intent is to convey the message that it is imperative that the department maintain the highest levels of integrity and credibility: thereby ensuring that its standards are sufficiently high so there is not even a perception among citizens that questionable practices exist. Professionalism, in this sense, means adherence to impeccable integrity and careful protection of all citizen rights. It will also include the maintenance of equally high levels of accountability by those authorized to enforce the law.


Value Nine:  

The Department believes that the police function operates most effectively when the organization and its operations are marked by stability, continuity and consistency.

(Commentary) This value was designed to convey the message that policing cannot be an arbitrary affair. Decisions must be made carefully and based on planning and research into alternatives, and their impact. Changes that are not meaningful will be reviewed and declared unacceptable.  As the Department progresses, it will be important for the department to remain committed to ensuring that changes are only made when there is a substantial benefit. In order to increase consistency of operations, policies must be designed to clearly state the department’s position on the issue addressed and offices will provide guidance to carry out their duties. This value will also convey the message that each individual officer could not and will not operate under his/her own policies.