SAN BERNARDINO COUNTY, Calif. - With more than 30 years with the department, one could playfully say San Bernardino County is getting a not-so-new Sheriff in town.
San Bernardino County Sheriff Shannon Dicus will serve as the head of the department for the remaining 18 months that was supposed to be served by now-retired Sheriff John McMahon. Dicus' promotion was approved unanimously by Board of Supervisors, who wanted as much stability as possible during the transition.
With decades of serving San Bernardino County, Sheriff Dicus comes in with a lot of support from the staff. He is also poised to continue some of McMahon’s goals, like updating some of the department’s infrastructure and getting body-worn cameras for deputies.
As Undersheriff, he oversaw day-to-day departmental operations and several divisions, including Internal Affairs, Civil Liabilities and the Bureau of Administration. In his application, Dicus included equity as one of the pressing areas facing the department.
Sitting down with us, he explained that he doesn’t want to wait until the sheriff's department is mandated to do something, but he’d rather look at avenues to do the right thing before being told to do so.
One particular area of concern was inmates who are fresh out of prison. He plans to push for more resources that could help the newly-released inmates. He describes recidivism as a major roadblock to crime reduction.
He is promising to hire more officers, at least 13 of them. Even with that, SB County Sheriff covers a county that is geographically speaking, the largest in the country: 2.1 million residents – with approximately 3900 employees spread in eight counties and 14 contract patrol stations.
He says he supports the use of body-worn cameras. The county budget approved in June includes over $5 million to establish the Body Camera Implementation program, but it’s still in the bidding process.
Dicus does plan to run next June, when county residents will vote to decide who will serve as sheriff for a four-year term, starting in January 2023.
On a personal note, he has taken up the horseback riding legacy that has been a strong part of a department associated with the Wild West, but he actually comes from the world of riding with a different kind of horsepower. As a former dirt bike rider, he is heavily involved in what’s known as dual-sport motorcycles, which are dirt bikes that are legal on roads.
But he says he is enjoying the four-legged horses, and you can see him at this year’s San Bernardino County Sheriff’s PRCA Rodeo, which is taking place the weekend of September 24 to 26 in Glen Helen. Tickets are already available.