Several options in I.E. sheriff's races

SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. "It's been interesting, about 80 percent fun and enjoyable and about 20 percent what have I gotten myself into," said Hoops.

Hoops said a lot of that has to do with the economic situation. But it's a situation he says his department has handled well.

"Last year we returned $5 million to the county's general fund, which is the first time in the history of the department and I'm very proud of that," said Hoops.

Hoops has two opponents. One is current San Bernardino County Deputy Sheriff Mark Averbeck of Redlands, who has his own ideas on how the department can save money.

"We need to cut the take home cars, take down some of the expense reports and we need to feed the inmates less expensive meals," said Averbeck.

Hoops' other opponent is Paul Schrader, a L.A. County Sheriff's deputy.

"Things need to change, we need a change here, we need a fresh start," said Schrader.

Schrader, who lives in Rancho Cucamonga, says his top priority is to make the department more transparent.

"I believe the watch commander or the captain at every station should be available to the public. I'm hearing too much that it's being put down to the deputy to talk to folks," said Schrader.

In Riverside County, current Sheriff Stan Sniff is hoping to hold onto his job. One of his priorities is to protect the level of service despite financial turmoil.

"The battle is keep that level at a considerably safe level, and not let it go back to what it was years ago, when you basically called a deputy sheriff and it took four or five or ten hours for them to get there," said Sniff.

Sniff says he's helped rid the department of corruption and cronyism.

"I think my record after two-and-a-half years speaks for itself, I have the support of every single police chief across the county," said Sniff.

"He's got all those heavy endorsements, but that's all I've seen him do is collect the heavy political clout that he needs in order to get elected," said Sniff's only opponent Frank Robles, a retired Riverside County sheriff's deputy.

Robles said the top priority should be getting the budget under control.

The incumbents in both races, Rod Hoops and Stan Sniff, were appointed, so none of the candidates have ever won an election for sheriff. That could very well change on June 8.

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