Another shooting in San Bernardino? It should never be considered routine. It’s not normal and it’s not acceptable.
According to the San Bernardino Sun, gunfire broke out during a dice game. Dice? We suppose anything can happen late at night on a holiday weekend, especially when residents are armed and dangerous.
The most disturbing part of this story is that when San Bernardino police arrived they were greeted by a hostile crowd. Hostile? We would think residents would welcome the police after eight neighbors had been shot. But the San Bernardino officers needed to call for backup to control the crowd while they helped the wounded.
In a column on this page, San Bernardino City Manager Andrea Miller declares that enough is enough. We agree.
Miller attributes much of the problem to the fact that nearly two-thirds of city residents are renters. The San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department has tackled the problem with Crime-Free Housing, similar to an approach launched in 1992 in Mesa, Ariz.
According to the website, “The Crime Free Multi-Housing Program is a partnership with property managers, owners, landlords and residents. The goal is to reduce crime through community partnerships and pro-active steps to improve the quality of life for our community.”
The city also has launched a Violence Intervention Program. This puts code enforcement under the San Bernardino Police Department to address the issue. And it has hired a new city prosecutor and retained a new city attorney as part of the program.
This is similar to the approach taken in Highland, where code enforcement officers work with two dedicated sheriff’s deputies on the Quality of Life Task Force. They work with property owners to clear encampments and offer the homeless a chance at a better life.
The residents of the River Glen apartments should welcome the police.
They should identify the perpetrators and make them pay for their offenses before the next dice game turns violent.