During his first term in office, Sheriff Barnes has focused on five key initiatives and has accomplished the following:
Initiative #1 – Vigilance In Protecting Our Community
- Maintained low crime rates in communities patrolled but the Sheriff’s Department.
- Created a Behavioral Health Bureau to more effectively mitigate impacts of homelessness and mental illness on the community’s quality of life.
- Expanded the School Mobile Assessment Resources Team (SMART) to address threats on school campuses before they materialize.
- Secured an agreement to continue emergency preparedness efforts related to the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station (SONGS)
- Led emergency response to the COVID-19 Pandemic, civil unrest, and wildfires.
- Began construction of a real time crime analysis center.
Initiative #2 – Reduce The Prevalence Of Drugs
- Maintained OCSD’s narcotics teams and participation is in the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area program. These teams have continue double the amount of fentanyl seized.
- Continued to advocate for legislation that would hold accountable those responsible for trafficking fentanyl.,
- Expanded a naloxone program to help counteract potential overdoses.
- Modernized drug education programs to prevent drug use amongst our youth.
Initiative #3 – Operating The Nation’s Best Jail System
- Launched a mental health initiative to better address the increasing amount of inmates with mental illness. These initiative includes the expansion of housing modules specifically designed for inmates with behavioral health issues.
- Began construction of the Musick Jail Project. When complete this new jail housing will provide 938 jail beds more conducive to programs that will reduce recidivism.
- Implemented a new jail classification system the improves security within the jail system.
- Successfully ended an 11-year investigation by the US Department of Justice into the Orange County Jail.
- Created a Housing Unit for Military Veterans (HUMV) to assist incarcerated veterans rehabilitate and be successful upon the conclusion of their sentence.
- Initiative a Medically Assisted Treatment Program and Step Down units to assist inmates with Substance Use Disorder achieve sobriety.
- Ended late night releases to enable more opportunity for safer and successful re-entry.
Initiative #4 – Enrich Community Partnerships
- Continued the Sheriff’s Interfaith Council and provided house of worship security training.
- Created community councils to receive input from Orange County’s diverse residents.
- Intiatived the “Take Me Home Program” to help at-risk members of the community stay safe.
- Launched the StaySafeOC campaign to assist the community with crime prevention efforts.
Initiative #5 – Maintain A Department Culture Of Integrity And Professionalism
- Maintained a high retention rate among department personnel.
- Enhanced training opportunities, including Crisis Intervention Training.
- Initiated a Body-worn Camera Program.
- Created an SB 1421 website to provide the public with access to department records.
- Created cost savings and efficiencies with a 27% reduction in the Executive Command staff.