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Sheriff Hoops retires without regrets

SAN BERNARDINO • Sheriff Rod Hoops plans to end his career with the San Bernardino Sheriff's Department where he started it 34 years ago: with the overnight shift at Glen Helen Detention Center. When he walks out of that last shift at 7 a.m., Hoops says he will be retiring with no regrets.

“I’ve had a wonderful career with 17 different assignment and seven promotions,” he said. “It was time. All the stars are lined up.”

Starting next year, Hoops will be working for the Police Foundation in Washington, D.C., a non-partisan policing research organization.

“It’s a new adventure. I’m a little nervous,” Hoops said. “For the last 34 years, I’ve woken up and known that I was a member of the San Bernardino Sheriff’s Department.”

Hoops is excited for the new challenge, explaining that, at 55, he is too young to retire and play golf.

“I will be able to take some of the things I learned and apply them at a national level,” Hoops said. “It’s an opportunity to explore the national world of law enforcement. I have a lot to bring to the group.”

Hoops has been planning to announce his retirement since June of this year, and says his timing was not politically motivated.

“The election was very important for the citizens of San Bernardino County. I didn’t want to interfere with process,” Hoops said. “I wanted the election to be over before I made my announcement.”

Looking back at his time in office, Hoops is most proud of increasing the educational level and diversity of the department command staff, taking the decision-making process down to the command level and maintaining a balanced budget in rough financial times.

“You never can please everybody. There are naysayers and that’s how the world is,” Hoops says. “You have to go to sleep believing you made the best decision with the information you had. I’m going to look back and feel pretty proud.”

Reflecting on Hoops’ time as sheriff, Sheriff’s Lieutenant Rick Roelle also mentioned the increased diversity, saying he believed Hoops made the department more inclusive.

Roelle describes Hoops as a personable, funny and quick-witted man.

“I think in law enforcement, you have to have that ability to get along with people, listen to be people and be very understanding of issues,” Roelle explained.

Hoops is recommending Assistant Sheriff John McMahon to take his place, but the decision will be made by the county Board of Supervisors.

McMahon shares these same qualities, according to Roelle, who is excited to see a local law enforcement officer in line to take the position as sheriff.

Roelle also notes that whoever the Board of Supervisors appoints has a difficult task ahead of him.

“It’s tough to be in law enforcement today with budget cuts,” Roelle said. “Everybody is stretched so thin, but crime does not take a back seat.”

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