County Supervisors, and heads of about a dozen county departments on the front lines in dealing with the COVID -19 crisis yesterday morning held a press conference on county government’s efforts to respond to the expanding public health emergency. Reporter Mike Lipsitz files this report…
The primary message from
yesterday’s press conference was for the pubic to do the right thing. Board
Chair Curt Hagman urged that everyone protect themselves and keep from
spreading the virus to your friends, coworkers and loved ones. Stay home,
observe social distancing, and isolate yourself if you suspect you may be
County Public Health Director Trudy Raymundo, reported 38 confirmed cases of novel Coronavirus and one death. She emphasized that the core mission of her department is to protect the two million residents. Testing remains a top priority because, she said, “we know that we do not understand the extent or the magnitude of this disease right now in our county simply because our test capacity has been limited.” A pilot appointment only, drive-through test event will be held tomorrow. The when and where will be announced on the county’s COVID-19 website wp.sbcounty.gov/dph/coronavirus. Because of the limited number of tests (about 400), only those who meet certain criteria will be given an appointment. Those criteria and an application for the test may be found at the county’s Covid-19 website as well. Tests are taking five to seven days for results to come back except in critical circumstances where immediate results are called for. More test sites will be established throughout the county. The county has established a COVID-19 public hotline at 909-387-3911 for general, non-medial information and online at https//BIT.LY/SANCOVID.
Board Chair Curt Hagman said
county hospitals are prepared. County is not sharing locations of those who
have contracted the virus. There are plenty of supplies; don’t hoard, allow
supply chains to catch up. County services are all operating. Do your part,
heed the orders to stay home and observe recommended practices. Test kits are
in short supply. The county has administered just 460 tests thus far.
Concerning short term vacation rentals, County Public Health Director Trudy Raymundo said the order prohibiting such rentals is being amended for clarity. She emphasized that the governor’s order is to stay home. that means your home and not someone else’s home. That is part of an effort to flatten the curve of new infections by practicing social distancing.
Dr. Webster Wong, Chief of
Medical Staff at Arrowhead Regional Medical Center, said, “We are preparing for
the unexpected and to respond to any surge of sick patients.” As for medical
advice to prevent the spread of this virus, Dr. Wong advised everyone to:
your hands for 20 seconds with soap and warm water.
you can’t wash your hands, use hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol.
social distancing of at least six feet because the virus is easily spread; it
can survive in the air or on surfaces for long periods of time.
not touch your face especially with unclean hands.
or sneeze into a tissue or your elbow.
you have cough, fever, or have been exposed to someone with the virus but do
not have breathing problems, stay at home in isolation, rest, hydrate, control
your fever with medication.
you have these symptoms and have an underlying medical condition such as
diabetes, COPD, heart disease, unstable asthma or are immunocompromised, please
call Arrowhead Regional Medical Center or the County Health Department to be
if you have any of the above conditions, and have breathing problems, go to the
Dr. Rodney Borger, Chair of
Emergency Medicine at Arrowhead Regional Medical Center, said his department
regularly prepares for disasters including global pandemics. He reassured the
public that there is a strong plan and that “together we will get through
this.” They are preparing to rapidly increase hospital capacity with a goal of
30 to 50 percent. A high-level viral containment unit has been established. A
number of things are in short supply, masks, gowns, gloves, and tests are in
limited supply. By mid-April, ARMC aims to have sufficient quantities of tests
and same day results.
County Fire Chief Dan Munsey said
the outbreak is much like a fire. His department is working closely with other
departments. Calls to 911 are segregated with suspected COVID-19 cases handled
separately. All fire personnel are closely monitored several times a day.
Responders have the equipment needed, although much of it is in short supply.
When you call 911, suspected cases are asked to wait outside the building for
protection of first responders. Fire departments throughout the district are
Supervisor Jose Gonzales
addressed Spanish speakers advising everyone to observe recommended practices
such as social distancing, hand washing and other strategies to slow the spread
of the virus.
Ted Alejandre, County
Superintendent of Schools representing 33 school districts and over 400,000
students, 19,000 teachers and other administrators and employees, said all
schools are closed until May 1, but the county continues efforts to see that
students continue to learn as well as receive nutritional support. The schools are
attempting to leverage best practices for continued learning.
Daniel Munoz, County Director of
the Office of Emergency Services, plays a critical-behind-the scenes support
for the agencies involved in the crisis. OES helps coordinate all the first
responders and others involved.
County Sheriff John McMahon
reported procedures at county jails have changed in response to the outbreak.
New detainees are tested and isolated if showing any signs of the virus.
Bookings are down approximately 18 percent since the crisis began presumably because
of fewer people on the streets and other reasons. The sheriff’s department
continues to maintain public safety.
A 46-year-old man with underlying
health conditions is the second person in San Bernardino County to
die from the novel coronavirus, officials said Wednesday evening. As
of this morning, there are now 54 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the
county, up from 38 reported yesterday. Tuesday, the county reported
its first death from the virus, a 50-year-old man with underlying
health conditions. Earlier Wednesday, public health officials
announced plans to offer a pilot coronavirus testing site by the end
of the week. Details will be posted on the county’s website today.
Officials plan to update the county website with the latest number of
cases at 5 p.m. daily.
With countywide school closures being
extended through May 1, Morongo Unified School District teachers are
working to transition their curriculum, lessons, and assignments to
students electronically. Reporter Andrew Dieleman has the details…
To help students continue their
education during the school closure, MUSD announced that beginning
Monday, March 30, school lessons will be provided to students through
digital education platforms, such as Google Classroom, Class Dojo, or
Remind. MUSD teachers are currently being trained to transition
assignments for students to the digital platforms. Completed work
will not be graded and students will not be penalized for not
completing the work. Students who do not have access to a computer or
internet can contact their school’s principal for additional
support in accessing the curriculum. More information will be
provided as the online classrooms are completed.
California Assemblyman Chad Mayes of
Yucca Valley will be the guest on the Z107.7 Up Close Show tomorrow,
March 27. Mayes, the former Republican minority leader in the
California Assembly, left the Republican party in December and is now
running for re-election to the Assembly as an Independent against
Republican candidate Andrew Kotyuk. Call 760-366-8471 tomorrow
with your questions, comments, and concerns, and talk to Assemblyman
Chad Mayes during the Up Close Show on Z107.7, starting at 10 a.m.
The Morongo Basin chapter of the
International Footprint Association was to have recognized its
Officer of the Year honorees at a ceremony in Yucca Valley tonight.
However, the event was cancelled due to public safety concerns.
Managing editor Tami Roleff introduces us to the seven officers who
are being honored this year…
The Morongo Basin chapter of the
International Footprint Association honors an officer from each of
the branches of law enforcement in the Morongo Basin. Officers of the
Year for 2019 are California Highway Patrol Jake Griffith; Deputy
Adrian Garcia from Joshua Tree Court Services; Ranger Nathan Lewis
from Joshua Tree National Park; Deputy Natthaniel Campos, of the
Morongo Basin Sheriff’s Station; Probation Officer David Magana;
and from the Combat Center in Twentynine Palms, Special Agent
Doreanne Bati from Naval Criminal Investigative Services and Sergeant
Ryan Boardman of the Provost Marshal’s Office. Summaries of why
each officer was nominated can be found with this story at
CHP Officer Jake Griffith
The Morongo Basin Area of the
California Highway Patrol is very proud of their 2020 Officer of The
This outstanding individual was born in
Des Moines, Iowa, and grew up in Rapid City, Michigan. He
attended Douglas High School, which is near Mount Rushmore, where he
prepared himself for his college education. He attended and
graduated from the United States Naval Academy, Class of 2002, with a
degree in General Science, where he studied physics, advanced
mathematics, chemistry, engineering, biology and computer science.
He has continued his education and earned a Master of Arts degree in
Leadership Studies from Marshal University. He met his wife
Nina, originally from Berlin, Germany, while attending college in
Annapolis in 2000 through mutual friends. They fell in love and
were married in 2003. They have two children, ages 9 and 10.
He has served in the United States
Marine Corps and held the ranks of Second and First Lieutenant before
attaining the rank of Captain where he has served in many capacities
including, Fleet Support Division of Marine Corps Logistics Command,
Head of the Maintenance Branch for Marine Corps Logistics Command
Company West, Base Motorcycle Safety Officer in Charge, Antiterrorism
Officer, Alternate Physical Security and Safety Officer. He has
attained and is currently a Major in the United States Marine Reserve
and throughout his active and reserve time has served two tours under
Operation Iraqi Freedom and one tour under Operation Enduring Freedom
in Afghanistan. His present position is the Exercise Officer
for reserve forces in Europe and Africa. He has also held
positions as Civil Liaison Officer with 1st Civil Affairs
Group, as well as deputy Operations Officer and Foreign Security
Force Advisor with Task Force Southwest, II MEP, and Operation
Freedom’s Sentinel/Resolute Support. He has been awarded
numerous commendations to include the Iraq Campaign Medal,
Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary and
Service Medals, and the NATO Medal.
He entered the CHP Academy in 2008 and
now holds an advanced POST certificate. He has completed the
Robert Presley Institute in Homicide Investigation and is has served
on the San Bernardino County Auto Theft Task Force, where he has been
credited with countless vehicle recoveries with an estimated value
into the millions of dollars. He has written and served
countless search warrants for chop shops and insurance fraud cases.
He is a Drug Recognition Expert and has logged over 320 arrests, the
majority for drug influence. He is a Drug Recognition Expert
Trainer and teaches both CHP and allied agency officers in the
detection and apprehension of drivers under the influence of drugs
and alcohol. He has been recognized as an expert in the field
and has testified in court to secure convictions in vehicular
manslaughter and other felony cases. He currently is assigned
road patrol duties in the Morongo Basin Area and also serves as the
Area Vehicle Identification Number Officer, where he inspects and
verifies vehicles for possible fraud or theft related issues.
This past year, he was tasked with
starting an explorer post at the Morongo Basin CHP Area. He was
hand selected by his supervisors to become the lead advisor due to
his military background as a Major in the United States Marine Corp
and a graduate of United States Naval Academy in Annapolis. He
jumped right in, contacted the local high school principals and began
recruiting. Due to his efforts, we were able to recruit six
dedicated applicants and recruitment is continuing. After a
lengthy background process, the applicants became cadets and he, with
the assistance of associate advisors, began the Level 1 Explorer
Academy. The Area has been very pleased with his leadership and
guidance in the role. His hard work and dedication to the
program has been pivotal in its success and undoubtedly will build
the confidence, character, and professionalism required for these
young people to move forward in life and become law enforcement
He was nominated by his peers and supervisors alike and based on all these things, it is with distinct pleasure that the California Highway Patrol, Morongo Basin Area, nominates Officer Jake Griffith as the 2020 Officer of The Year.
Campos graduated from the 186th class of San Bernardino County
Sheriff’s Academy, in 2012. Campos was assigned to the High Desert
Detention Center from September of 2012, until July of 2013. From
July 2013 until present, Campos has been assigned to the Morongo
Basin Station. In January of 2018, Campos was assigned as the CFS/APS
Deputy, in the Detective Bureau. Campos’ primary duties include
investigating Child and Family Services (CFS) and Adult Protective
Services (APS) follow ups, to determine if a crime occurred. When
there is evidence of a crime, Campos is diligent to assure the victim
receives justice. Campos partners with CFS/APS, the Children’s
Assessment Center, as well as the Sheriff’s Department Crimes
Against Children Detail. Campos has received training in Children’s
Forensic Interviews, Child Abuse Investigation, and Sexual Assault
Investigations. Campos conducts frequent briefing training to teach
newer deputies about child abuse cases, and interviewing children.
Campos investigated a report of physical abuse to a 4-year-old
female and recognized signs of severe child abuse present in the
child. Campos assisted the Crimes Against Children Detail by
arresting the mother for multiple serious felony crimes. Campos
investigated a report of child sexual abuse, resulting in the arrest
of a family member for the crime. The suspect was found guilty on all
charges and was sentenced to 80 years in prison.
Campos is one of
the Search and Rescue coordinators at the station. He led 6 missions
within the last year, looking for missing hikers, children, and
Campos is a field
training officer, who trained five new deputies in all phases of
training. Campos is an established leader among his peers
and is known as a tenacious investigator, who will not stop until all
leads are exhausted. I am proud to present Deputy Natthaniel
Campos as the recipient of the Morongo Basin Footprint Law
Enforcement Officer of the Year Award.
Joshua Tree Court Services Deputy Of
The Year Adrian Garcia
Deputy Adrian Garcia became part of the
Joshua Tree Court Services team in October 2017. Prior to his
assignment to Court Services Deputy Garcia worked patrol for 16 years
in the Morongo Basin. He provided law enforcement services to the
County area of the Basin as well as to the Town of Yucca Valley and
the City of Twentynine Palms. Due to Deputy Garcia’s extensive
patrol experience he was selected to be a Field Training Officer and
during that assignment he trained 16 new deputies.
Upon arrival in the courts deputy
Garcia immediately familiarized himself with the various aspects of
performing the duties of a criminal court bailiff as well as the
duties of a custody officer.
Deputy Garcia is respected by his
peers, court staff and the various judges of the Joshua Tree Court
District. He possesses excellent interpersonal skills which makes him
highly effective in dealing with the public. He is a diligent
employee who can be relied upon to complete any assigned task without
Deputy Garcia is an excellent team
member and works well with the various court staff personnel which is
a prerequisite for successful integration into the court system
Probation Officer David Magana
Officer David Magana has been employed
with the San Bernardino County Probation Department as a probation
officer for almost 2 years. He is currently assigned to a juvenile
supervision unit in Joshua Tree, California. Many of the youth he
supervises live in remote areas, lack transportation, and suffer from
poor family dynamics.
Officer Magana has spent countless
hours working and guiding youth and their families to improve
communication skills, family dynamics, and behavior modification.
Most probation officers submit referrals for services when the youth
and their families are in need of individual and family counseling;
however, Officer Magana goes beyond the call of duty to ensure his
youth are receiving the necessary services and tools to better
themselves and to improve family relations.
On one particular occasion, a youth on
his caseload failed to appear to her court hearing in San Bernardino,
due to a lack of parental guidance and transportation. The Court
continued the hearing to another day. However, a few days prior to
the rescheduled hearing, the youth called Officer Magana in a state
of panic; she was in fear of the Court issuing a warrant, because she
was unable to find a way to get to her hearing. Officer Magana
recognized the youth was trying to do the right thing and wanted to
assist her. He called the Public Defender’s Office and the District
Attorney’s Office to see if the matter could be rescheduled.
However, the court date could not be rescheduled, so he decided to
take action; on the day of the hearing, he and another probation
officer drove to the youth’s home in 29 Palms, picked her up, and
transported her to court in San Bernardino. He then drove her home
following the court hearing.
After that occurrence, Officer Magana
realized the youth and her family were in need of intervention, as
her parent was not involved and there was immense turmoil within
their relationship. Additionally, the youth’s home life was
extremely unstable and her attendance in school was extraordinarily
poor. Like most probation officers, Officer Magana submitted a
referral for counseling services for the youth and her mother. The
counseling services consists of family, parent, and individual
counseling, which also includes Child and Family Team (CFT) meetings.
Not only did Officer Magana submit a
referral for counseling, he went the extra mile to ensure her success
and believed it was necessary to be a part of her treatment. He
attended the very first CFT meeting, and continues to be included in
every CFT meeting with the youth, her mother, and the CFT counselors.
Because of his efforts and rapport with the family, the youth and her
mother have made tremendous progress.
Officer Magana is not just involved
with that particular youth, he makes it a priority to attend most CFT
meetings for all of his youth who are referred for services. Officer
Magana is diligent, caring, treats everyone with respect, improves
morale with his clients, carries a positive attitude, and is always
willing to go the extra mile to help his clients reach success.
Joshua Tree National Park Ranger
Nathan Lewis is a true ranger’s-ranger.
The position employs multiple disciples to include law enforcement,
search and rescue, EMS, and wildland firefighting. These disciplines
are executed not only in developed areas of national parks but also
in extreme backcountry wilderness. Lewis is an absolute professional
that takes every opportunity to hone his skills for any emergency,
despite geographical and logistical challenges.
Lewis’ supervisor Dustin Waters writes:
“Ranger Lewis serves as a prime example of a dedicated,
professional law enforcement officer. He is methodical and
detail-oriented, always willing to help, and takes on new tasks with
enthusiasm. Whether he is developing a backcountry patrol program, or
putting together training with search and rescue staff, and even
helping me with my own reports, Ranger Lewis can be counted on time
and time again for his thoroughness. He realizes the importance of
working on a team. He is an excellent team resource for his knowledge
of the law. I periodically catch him reviewing agency policy. Ranger
Lewis completes his own investigations with meticulous organization
and in a timely manner.
In the year I have supervised Ranger
Lewis, I have seen him perform as incident commander on a complex,
multi-day search and rescue… provide guidance on and participate in
the removal of illegal climbing bolts; teach EMS coursework; assist
resource management multiple times in park helicopter operations as a
helicopter crew member. These are just a few examples of how he
performs on a daily basis. He is a pleasure to supervise and a joy to
work beside on incidents. In my opinion, Ranger Lewis possesses the
essential qualities of a model Law Enforcement Park Ranger.”
Boardman is an exemplary Marine and Law Enforcement professional who
consistently displays motivation, drive, and leadership far above his
and knowledge Sergeant Boardman possesses has made him an
irreplaceable asset to the Marine Corps Police program. Sergeant
Boardman is a capable Watch Commander with who navigates the position
with ease, proficiency, and little to no assistance from his
superiors. Sergeant Boardman partook as the reporting official for
(220) criminal and non-criminal cases including suicide attempts,
larcenies, DUI’s, assaults, and domestic violence cases; all of
which were highly detailed and free of discrepancies. He has earned
the respect of those under his charge as well as his superiors, with
a constant display of exceptional leadership abilities. He possesses
an unmatched work ethic and constant desire to go above and beyond
his duties of what is expected at his rank. As a result, he was
hand-selected by the Combat Center Command to ensure the safe
transportation and security of the Commandant of the Marine Corps and
Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps during their visit aboard the
Combat Center. Later, Sergeant Boardman was nominated and awarded
Marine Non-Commissioned Officer of the Year for the Combat Center.
Sergeant Boardman also volunteered as
an Instructor for HQBN’s Lance Corporal Leadership and Ethics
Seminar ensuring the successful graduation of (43) Lance Corporals as
well as, an instructor for Corporal Course ensuring the successful
graduation of (47) Corporals of Marines. Sergeant Boardman
volunteers at Full Psycle in Palm Springs, assisting clients improve
their nutrition and physical insight, training new instructors, and
assisting other staff while he is off duty. He also volunteers at the
Single Marine Program (SMP) aboard the Combat Center with various
events. As a result of his commitment to the Marines and community,
he is a key player in making the local communities grow, become
cohesive, and raise their fitness levels and morale.
For dedication to his profession, the
Marine Corps, and his unwavering on and off duty conduct, it is with
utmost enthusiasm that Sgt. Ryan Boardman is recommended for Morongo
Basin Footprint Association Law Enforcement Officer of the year.
NCIS Special Agent Dorieanne Bati
Special Agent (SA) Dorieanne Bati,
Naval Criminal Investigative Service Resident Agency Twentynine
Palms, performed superbly and set herself apart from her peers in the
area of general crime enforcement. She has been a Special Agent with
NCIS since September of 2017. Prior to joining NCIS, SA Bati served
as a Security Specialist for Intelligence Related Contracting and
Special Programs at the SPAWAR Systems Center Pacific, San Diego and
as a Force Protection Security Assistant at Naval Base San Diego.
Since arriving at NCISRA Twentynine
Palms, SA Bati has epitomized the qualities every Special Agent
should exhibit: professionalism, resourcefulness, and attention to
detail. SA Bati’s efforts and dedication at NCISRA Twentynine
Palms, have directly contributed to the NCIS mission of protecting
Navy and Marine Corps personnel, family members, DOD personnel and
other assets. SA Bati strives to achieve excellence in every case,
and this drive has fostered the respect of her peers and led to the
successful prosecution of multiple serious criminal cases during
2019. In 2019, SA Bati held amongst the highest caseload at NCISRA
Twentynine Palms, initiating and participating in 31 investigations
Assigned to the General Crimes squad,
SA BATI worked the full spectrum of criminal investigations, to
include sexual assault, death investigations, larcenies, narcotics,
child physical/sexual investigations, child exploitation, child
pornography and domestic violence. Additionally, SA Bati is a Major
Crime Response Team Member in a high tempo office, Fire Warden, and
Primary Evidence Custodian.
In addition to overseeing and
conducting criminal investigations, SA Bati is proactive at Marine
Corps Air Ground Combat Center (MCAGCC), Twentynine Palms. She
initiates in crime reduction strategies by conducting briefs on
sexual assault, narcotics, child pornography, and additional general
crimes investigated by NCIS to generally 100-200 Marines a week. In
addition, she conducted numerous NCIS Counterintelligence and Insider
SA Bati is proactive in coordinating
and conducting investigations with local state and federal law
enforcement partners. In 2019, SA Bati has worked with the FBI, DCIS,
HSI, California Highway Patrol, Riverside County Sheriff’s
Department, San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department, and other
organizations throughout the NCISRA Twentynine Palms area of
responsibility. This interaction promotes interagency support and
Despite her junior tenure with NCIS, SA
Bati consistently displayed admirable traits, and she was selected to
lead the NCIS Twentynine Palms office after the departure of the
previous supervisor. During the summer of 2019, SA Bati served as
acting Supervisory Special Agent, wherein she regularly briefed NCIS
Field Office Camp Pendleton management on all high profile
investigations, and maintained oversight and review an all active
cases. She served as acting supervisor while simultaneously
maintaining her current caseload.