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By Ryan Orr
The Daily Press

VICTORVILLE, Calif. - More than half of the arrests made during a monthlong gang crackdown in June occurred in Victorville, officials announced Tuesday.
Officials also laid plans to employ the first gang-intelligence officer that will gather gang information across a six-county region.
Operation Desert Heat was a coordinated "troop surge" of law enforcement into problem areas throughout the Victor Valley in June.
A total of 1,203 arrests were made during Operation Desert Heat, including 166 for felonies, San Bernardino County 1st District Supervisor Brad Mitzelfelt reported at the Board of Supervisors meeting.
Fifty-two percent of the arrests were in Victorville.
"I don't want to say it alarms me," said Mark Taylor, Victorville station captain. "I don't necessarily think it's indicative of Victorville having a bigger problem than anywhere else."
With the jail located in Victorville, Taylor said deputies in the operation spent more time driving in and out of Victorville and, as a result, apprehended more suspected gang members there. He said he was happy to see how much time deputies spent in Victorville.
Mitzelfelt said that Operation Desert Heat is just one part of a comprehensive anti-gang strategy, and it sent a strong message that gang members have a choice: "They can reform and go straight, they can leave our county or they can go to jail."
"This is one of the more successful gang operations we've done in the county," said Rod Hoops, San Bernardino County assistant sheriff. "There has been a real difference made in the High Desert because of this operation."
The board accepted a $200,000 grant from the governor's Office of Emergency Services to fund a gang-intelligence liaison officer that will coordinate information about gangs throughout six counties, including San Bernardino County.
The new officer will be part of a test program for the state to determine the effectiveness of a regional intelligenceled approach to anti-gang enforcement, officials said.

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