S. E. Williams | Voice News
The San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors unanimously appointed Undersheriff Shannon Dicus to serve as San Bernardino County Sheriff/Coroner/Public Administrator during the remaining 18 months of retiring Sheriff John McMahon’s final term in office.
In just 11 months, county voters will decide who will serve as sheriff for four years starting in January 2023.
Critics allege it was unseemly for the board to announce and go through the motions of accepting applications for the position when it appeared from the start the outcome was purportedly, predetermined.
Exiting Sheriff John McMahon himself came to office by appointment as did his predecessor former Sheriff Rod Hoops.
It is this history that fostered cynicism when McMahon announced on Friday June 18, he intended to retire July 16, well before his term expires in January 2023. In the process, he created an opportunity for the board to appoint an interim replacement with all the electoral advantages that it offers for the 2022 election cycle.
McMahon served 36 years in the Sheriff’s Department, more than eight of those years as sheriff. The Board of Supervisors was obligated to appoint someone to complete McMahon’s term after determining that a special election would not be possible prior to the regularly scheduled June 2022 sheriff’s election.
“Undersheriff Dicus has been with the Sheriff’s Department for 30 years and clearly led the field of applicants in experience and knowledge,” said Board of Supervisors Chairman Curt Hagman. “He has overseen or served within virtually every division in the department. This county must have someone who is ready to step into the role of sheriff in nine days.”
Board Vice Chair Dawn Rowe and Supervisors Janice Rutherford, Joe Baca, Jr., and Col. Paul Cook (Ret.) all enthusiastically supported the appointment of Dicus.
Dicus joined the Sheriff’s Department in 1991 after serving in the U.S. Army as a military police officer and with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Police in Loma Linda.
As undersheriff, Dicus oversees the day-to-day operations of the Sheriff’s Department as well as the Internal Affairs, Civil Liabilities, and Bureau of Administration divisions.
His past assignments include corrections at the Glen Helen Rehabilitation and West Valley Detention centers; patrol duties in Apple Valley and Victorville and the Barstow and Victor Valley stations; specialized Investigations (Narcotics, SWAT, and Criminal Intelligence); and support services (Technical Services, Communications, Records, and the Bureau of Administration).
Dicus has a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice from Cal State San Bernardino and a Master’s Degree in Communications from Cal Baptist University.
Watch for more on this story from the IE Voice and Black Voice News in the coming weeks.
S. E. Williams is executive editor of the IE Voice and Black Voice News.