Steve Higgins, Assistant Sheriff, San Bernardino County

Panelist, Response: Lesson Learned from San Bernardino

Assistant Sheriff Steve Higgins has been a resident of the High Desert for over 40 years. He has been married for 26 years and has three children. Assistant Sheriff Higgins graduated from Victor Valley High School in 1982 and graduated from Victor Valley Community College with an Associate’s Degree in Administration of Justice several years later. In 1994, Assistant Sheriff Higgins received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Criminal Justice from California State University, San Bernardino. He is also a graduate of the FBI National Academy and the POST Executive Development Course.

Assistant Sheriff Higgins began his law enforcement career with the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department in 1986. After graduating from the 87th Basic Academy, he was assigned to the Central Detention Center. After a short stint at the Victorville jail, he worked patrol at the Apple Valley Station, including an assignment as the station’s K-9 officer. Assistant Sheriff Higgins was eventually promoted to the rank of Corporal and assigned to the Rancho Cucamonga Station as a Field Training Officer (FTO). After a couple of years, he transferred to the Specialized Investigations Division where he was assigned to the Homicide Detail. After promoting to Sergeant in 1997, he worked at the West Valley Detention Center for several years and then was reassigned to the Narcotics/SWAT Division. Additional assignments at the rank of Lieutenant included Valley and Desert Communications (Dispatch), Training Center and the Bureau of Administration. As a Captain, his command level assignments included the Information Services Division, Victor Valley Station, Hesperia Station and Bureau of Administration.

As Deputy Chief, Higgins was responsible for overseeing the Special Operations Bureau, which includes the Emergency Services Division (Aviation and Volunteer Forces), Narcotics/IRNET, Intelligence, Specialized Enforcement Division (SWAT/Crime Impact and Gang Teams) and the Specialized Investigations Division (Homicide, Crimes Against Children and High-Tech Crimes).

Currently, Assistant Sheriff Higgins is responsible for overseeing Criminal Operations throughout the Department, which includes the Special Operations Bureau, the Valley/Mountain Patrol Bureau and the Desert Patrol Bureau.

Assistant Sheriff Higgins is also a member of several professional law enforcement organizations, including the California Peace Officers Association (CPOA), the California Narcotics Officers Association (CNOA), and the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP). He is also a graduate of the FBI National Academy (Class #245) and a member of the FBI National Academy Association.