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School Safety Takes Precedence


Recent events have catapulted school safety to the top of the priority list for law enforcement, as well as educational institutions. While the Sheriff’s Department is constantly seeking to improve all services provided to the community, it is good to know the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department is leading the pack in comprehensive school safety.

Officers review the plans for the day

The Sheriff’s Department utilizes the award-winning Clean-SWEEP program, as well as innovative strategic training to protect the more than 500,000 youth of our county.

CleanSWEEP is a partnership program between the San Bernardino County Superintendent of Schools Office and the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department.  This dramatically-effective program – born in 1997 -- uses a three-pronged attack on school crime. 

How does it work?  First, students who violate certain criminal codes on campus are treated to a combination of retributive and rehabilitative measures – that is to say, they are both punished and given appropriate counseling to help them avoid problem behavior in the future.  Clean-SWEEP issues offenders a juvenile citation that puts the student in court with his or her parents.  There, the judge will more than likely fine the student a dollar amount, the bulk of which can be waived or voided if the offender improves attendance, improves his or her grades, and attends some sort of diversionary program.

For many, this is their first encounter with the notion of personal accountability, and they are meant to feel the sting of a collective societal reprimand to their actions.  But at the same time, CleanSWEEP seeks to avoid criminalizing the offending student, and seeks to keep the offender in his or her classroom, so that his or her education may proceed uninterruptedly.


Officers pratice maneuvers in the corridors of the school.
But that is only one-third of the success story.  Operation CleanSWEEP is also made up of two other components: a Security Assessment that inspects schools for safety-related problems, and a Speaker’s Bureau that provides participating campuses with presentations, demonstrations, and guest speakers on a wide variety of crime- and security-oriented issues. 

Operation CleanSWEEP also offers to all its schools crisis response training.  This helps schools prepare for just about any emergency situation: a suspect with a gun on campus, student with hostages, potentially violent parents on campus, bomb threats, anthrax scares, suicidal students, etc.  Each patrol station is also responsible for organizing its own Emergency Response Plan for the schools in its jurisdiction.  Stations such as Rancho Cucamonga have taken a high-tech approach by creating an interactive view of the inside of each and every classroom, in the event of an active shooter crisis.

This, like the CleanSWEEP program itself, is free of charge to participating schools.

More than 100 schools in the county are taking advantage of this proactive and preventative approach to campus safety.
For more information on CleanSWEEP call SBCSD
Public Affairs at


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