March 25, 2017

The City of San Bernardino has problems. The city, despite having exited bankruptcy, remains broke. The police department is undermanned and underfunded. Increased pension obligations to CalPERS threatens to consume any additional revenue to the department and the city.

San Bernardino has more than 30 illegally operating pot shops in town, many of them with ties to gangs or organized crime. The murder rate continues at a near-record pace. Property crimes are through the roof. San Bernardino’s middle class is abandoning it for safer cities with better schools as the city’s demographics become poorer.

So, it is not a wonder as to why the Mayor and other elected officials reached out for help last month to the federal government in a letter to President Trump. It only makes sense that when faced with an insurmountable crime problem beyond the capabilities of local government that San Bernardino should request help and cooperation from those agencies.

This is not new ground. In 1994, San Bernardino was plagued with gang crime as Los Angeles gangs followed the migration of welfare recipients to our region. The city requested and received county, state and federal law enforcement assistance in what was called Operation Safe Streets. San Bernardino Police coordinated with the Sheriff’s Department, California Highway Patrol, and the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) to crack down on crime in the city.

And it worked.

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