This has been a week of reporting that began by renewing my gratitude and admiration that there are people driven and willing to take on a career in law enforcement and later left me relieved that I am not one of them.
It takes a special, innate desire to protect and serve others to enable officers to signup for a career that is dangerous, difficult and places them in close daily contact with the most difficult and abhorrent parts of humanity⎯hate, anger, fear, violence, discord, death, grief, pain and turmoil.
On Thursday, April 25, the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department, San Bernardino Police Department and FBI carried out Operation Westside Guillotine, which aimed to cut the head off a San Bernardino-based gang responsible for decades of violence and drug crimes by targeting the gang’s central leadership.
As U.S. Attorney’s Office Spokesman Thom Mrozek pointed out, targeting, investigating and arresting such a large and organized gang is difficult and dangerous work. But bringing these gang leaders to justice goes a long way toward keeping local streets and neighborhoods safe, the goal of the 250-plus officers involved in the operation.
Officers from each of the involved agencies spoke of how rewarding it has been to make the Inland Empire a safer community with the success of this investigation.
On Friday, April 26, sheriff’s department detectives, deputies and other volunteer personnel began a search for a 6-year-old boy believed murdered by his mother and aunt then tossed in a dumpster.
As of printing, Wednesday, May 1, the boy’s body had not been found and dozens of sheriff’s department personnel, with the assistance of K-9s, continued to search through 1,200 tons of material in a 70 foot by 70 foot by 10 foot area of a Victorville landfill.
It’s a task that even in success the deputies cannot escape coming face-to-face with disturbing tragedy.