Violent crime in the Inland Empire and California as a whole has increased, according to the San Bernardino County Sheriff-Coroner, and now he’s addressing the issue head-on and asking state and federal legislators and the public to help combat the rise in criminal activity.
“We’ve been watching our California dream degrade with increased crime, homelessness and substance abuse,” said San Bernardino County Sheriff-Coroner Shannon Dicus
The San Bernardino County Homeless Outreach and Proactive Enforcement Team estimates that there are 2,100 homeless individuals who are “adverse from help and suffer from extreme mental health and substance abuse issues” in San Bernardino County alone.
Data from the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation shows that California had 6,987 parolees at large as of December 2022, with 552 of them at large in San Bernardino County. Dicus believes that the spike in violent crimes is directly correlated with the high number of at-large parolees and homeless individuals wandering community streets.
“These numbers are concerning because these are parolees and likely the culprits of violent crime,” said Dicus. “When you see nearly 7,000 criminals roaming the streets, I think the public can understand why we see violent crime spike.”
County residents have already begun fearing for their safety. Dicus says that he has received 12,640 concealed carry permit applications since 2019 and that the number of applications increases by an average of 30% each year.