Lori Consalvo, Staff Writer
Posted: 02/25/2010 11:48:28 PM PST

SAN BERNARDINO – In his first State of the Department address since becoming sheriff 13 months ago, Rod Hoops on Thursday talked about change, accomplishments and a challenging future.

The challenges will come in the form of budget cuts in San Bernardino County that may require restructuring and reorganization, Hoops said.

“We will have to do the same work with less money,” he said.

Hoops spoke to county and state officials, station commanders and deputy chiefs from specialized units in a packed conference room at the Sheriff’s Department headquarters.

There were “a lot of changes in a short period of time,” he said of the past year.

Hoops, who became sheriff in January 2009, highlighted moving county officials from Chino Hills to Fontana – making Chino Hills a standalone station and improving response times to San Antonio Heights and the West End – and consolidating the Victor Valley and Adelanto stations.

Hoops also reviewed some accomplishments.

Sheriff’s deputies reunited Bryant Rodriguez, who was kidnapped from his mother’s home in San Bernardino in May, and arrested the suspects.

“The investigation was one of the largest and most intense we have had to do,” Hoops said.

The county’s cold case team arrested Larry Hite in November in connection with the 1986 slaying of Nancy Klinger, and the Inland Regional Narcotics Enforcement Team concluded an 18-month investigation of the Mexican gang La Familia and the smuggling of drugs into the country through the Inland Empire.

In January 2009, Rancho Cucamonga-based deputies arrested 10 people who were allegedly involved in a series of takeover bank robberies in San Bernardino, Los Angeles, Riverside and Orange counties.

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