(Hesperia)– – Area law enforcement will be stepping up efforts to make the High Desert safe and reduce gang activity by initiating “Operation Desert Heat,” a summer-long series of sweeps and saturation patrols throughout the Victor Valley.
The San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors allocated $100,000 of First District discretionary funds toward the operation, which will allow teams of High Desert deputies from the gang unit to conduct focused sweeps and saturation patrols in high crime areas throughout the summer. Apple Valley, Hesperia and Victorville contributed $15,000 each toward the program. State parole agents and County Probation officers will also participate.
“Gang activity continues to be the most serious criminal threat faced by the citizens of the Victor Valley, and Desert Heat will make gang members painfully aware that they cannot run the streets with impunity,” First Supervisor Brad Mitzelfelt said. “We also are dealing with nearly 3,000 felons who are now under County supervision as a result of the state’s prison realignment program, and we will ensure that these probationers and parolees are complying with the law.”
Deputies in the High Desert have limited time to conduct proactive enforcement because they are often tied up responding to calls for service. The five High Desert stations participating in Desert Heat received more than 263,000 calls for service last year.
“Without the support of our County Supervisor and contract cities this operation would not be possible,” Sheriff Hoops said.