Oct
18

PORF Helps SEBA Member After Devastating Fire

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The piercing sound of the shrill fire alarm ripped through their sleep in the dead of night.

Like other times when the annoying signal has gone off, interrupting a peaceful rest, Heather Forsythe was initially annoyed. The sound persisted and forced Forsythe out of bed only to be met with the smell of smoke and the realization this was not a false alarm.

The soot in the air was suffocating and the heat was stifling. The flames were coming down from the attic and she knew they would not have long. She and her husband rushed to grab her son and ran out of the house.

They stood on the edge of their large desert property and watched in disbelief as the bold flames danced across the top of their home. The blaze moved and grabbed portions of the house, devouring the wood, drywall and plaster. It continued even after firefighters arrived, fighting against the water until finally being extinguished.
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Oct
18

Students Earn Trip to LA Zoo for Perfect Attendance

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Abigail Vega was not looking forward to summer for one reason: She figured she was going to get the flu.

“When we got out for thanksgiving, I got sick,” Abigail said. “When we got out for Easter, I got sick. Every time we get out of school, I get sick. So, I know I am going to get sick this summer.”

The 10-year-old did not miss a day of school during the 2016-2017 Grand Terrace Elementary school year. She simply waited for vacation to get a fever or a bad cold. Her 100% attendance granted her a trip to the zoo at the end of the school year. The trip was a re-ward from SEBA for the student’s commitment to education.

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Oct
18

Navigating the Worker’s Comp Process

Worker’s Compensation is a long, arduous, complex and frustrating sys-tem but if you get injured on the job it is a process you are forced to endure. I know the aggravating Worker’s Comp system first-hand because I was medi-cally retired from the San Bernardino County Sheriff ’s Department far soon-er than I ever anticipated. Now that I have come to work at SEBA as a field representative, I have taken on the task of helping our members learn, understand and navigate the process. This is an assignment I am passionate about because I feel if I had a better grasp on the Worker’s Compensation process, I may have been able to return to my work as ...
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Oct
18

Taking Targets Off Our Backs

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California has gone mad in terms of its approach to “public safety.” Politicians and community leaders with special interests in mind have turned civility on its head and made good into bad and bad into good. If you look at recent headlines, soundbites or any new legislation, it seems as though politicians have it out for law-abiding residents of California. They have turned criminals into victims and supported legislation that keeps dangerous felons on the street when they should be serving their debt to society in prison. Good people in our communities are unwillingly becoming repeat victims of property crimes because the current laws deem ...
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Oct
17

Shooting into Vehicles Not Appropriately Examined

The Sun and KPCC’s investigative series highlighted officer-involved shootings in San Bernardino County into moving vehicles but ignored the most prolific example of the success of this practice: the December 2nd terrorist attack. The conclusion of the most horrific event in the county’s history played out in a fiery gun battle that began with high-caliber rounds exchanged between the suspects’ black Suburban and law enforcement vehicles. Yet the title and tone of The Sun article imply San Bernardino County is overdue in changing its policies regarding this topic. “Police agencies from Los Angeles to New York banned officers from shooting int...
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Oct
16

Failures at HR Lead to Clean Slate for Future

The sudden resignation of San Bernardino County’s human resources director leaves a void of leadership in a crucial division and a bad taste in the mouth of county employees who have yet to see consistent integrity from that department. But it also allows the perfect opportunity for new county leadership to remedy past problems. The San Bernardino Sun newspaper re-ported the abrupt resignation of Cindi Peterson Tompkins after only nine months on the job.  She was hired to replace the embattled Andrew Lamberto, who resigned after reporters uncovered his arrest for soliciting prostitution, which was covered up by then-CEO Greg Devereaux. L...
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Jun
29

Blood, Sweat and Dirt

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If it has two wheels and a motor, these guys are in.

A group of deputies, most of whom ride motorcycles as part of the Rancho Cucamonga Traffic Division, compete in a mo­tocross series specifically for first responders. Their work bikes are cool enough but their weekend bikes are their pride and joy. They are lighter, brighter and more fun to ride. There is nobody to pull over; just plenty of racers to pull out in front of.

San Bernardino County Sheriff's Cpl. Mark Addy, Dep. Alex Zapata, Dep. Nick Seybert, Dep. Jose Carrillo and Sgt. Kevin Arlotti, are part of a large group of deputies who get together on a regular basis and ride dirt bikes. Some in the larger group simply ride for fun but these five have a dedicated schedule to practice and train for a competitive motocross series.

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Jun
29

Personal Cell Phones Subjected to Public Records Requests

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On March 2, 2017, the California Supreme Court issued S218066, in which it held that city officials were required to publicly disclose work-related electronic communications over their personal electronic accounts and devices. The case involved a private citizen who formally requested numerous records, including emails and text messages "sent or received on private electronic devices used by" the mayor, city council mem­bers, and their staff. The City disclosed only communications made using official city telephone numbers and email accounts but did not disclose communications using the individuals' personal accounts and devices. The Supreme ...
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Jun
29

AB 9 53: Sacrificing Public Safety for Race-based Data Entry

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California Assembly Bill 953, known as the Racial and Identity Profiling Act of 2015, is a political witch hunt devised by groups that claim community activism in an effort to gather statistical, yet equivocal, data to prove a false narrative. AB 953 requires that all California law enforcement agencies collect and report detailed information about each stop or contact conducted by all peace officers. It requires the following data be captured and reported: The time, date and location of the stop The reason for the stop The result of the stop The perceived race/ethnicity, gender and age of the per­son stopped Whether the peace officer asked f...
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Jun
29

Editor's Note

Welcome to the new version of Star & Shield magazine, the official publication of the Sheriff's Employees' Benefits Association. The magazine has undergone a complete redesign of both editorial layout and content. The deliv­ery of the magazine has also changed from monthly to quarterly. The change will reduce the costs associated with the magazine and allow time for high quality stories to be developed and reported. Months back, we surveyed our mem­bers to ask what they wanted out of their magazine. Our members responded with three major concerns: over-saturation of advertisements; outdated stories and cost. Hopefully, the new version of ...
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