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Kern County Sheriff’s Office Rural Crime Investigations Unit.

The Kern County Sheriff’s Office Rural Crime Investigations Unit is committed to work in partnership with the Agriculture, Oil and Livestock industries in Kern County. Together, we can reduce losses caused by criminal activity that create a negative impact on the industries efforts to enhance the quality of life in Kern County.

Rural Crime Investigation Unit

The Kern County Sheriff’s Office Rural Crime Investigation Unit currently consists of one sergeant, two senior deputies, three deputies, one clerk and a dedicated deputy district attorney. The Rural Crime Investigation Unit (RCIU) is a collaborative program designed to have experienced investigators work directly with stake-holders in the agricultural, livestock and oil production industries.

Before RCIU existed, any agricultural, livestock or oilfield related crimes were generally reported to an outlying substation. In such instances, it was inherently difficult to develop the necessary investigative expertise to manage the case with any measure of success.  Industry-wide security deficiencies also contributed to the financial exposure of rural business. Those security deficiencies naturally resulted in additional investigative challenges.

 As rural crime continued to increase, law enforcement recognized the need to develop new strategies to address the unique crimes associated with the rural business community. Past law enforcement practices and investigative techniques were no longer keeping pace with the criminal advancements in rural crimes. Law enforcement quickly discovered criminals involved in rural crimes were not bound by city or county jurisdictions.  Experienced investigators recognized crimes being committed in one county were often times perpetrated by criminals who resided in adjoining jurisdictions. 

 In an effort to address the growing law enforcement challenges of rural crime, the Central Valley Rural Crime Prevention Task Force was created. This task force is comprised of highly trained rural crime investigators from the:  San Joaquin, Stanislaus, Merced, Madera, Fresno, Kings, Tulare and Kern Counties.  The task force is dedicated to the development of new and more effective techniques for addressing agricultural, ranching and oil field crimes.

 The task force understands rural crimes are a multi-faceted issue.  In addition to addressing the criminal component, the task force actively pursues prevention through educational activities with rural companies.  Through education and prevention, the task force has been able to significantly reduce the number of crimes committed within our central valley.  The task force works closely with the district attorney’s office, discussing crime trends and evolving technologies.  Through this partnership, the district attorney’s office is able to develop legal tools to vigorously investigate and prosecute suspects.

Kern County Sheriff’s Office Rural Crime Investigation Unit Office phone (661) 392-6071

For emergencies or crimes in progress please contact 911.

Kern County Sheriff’s Office Rural Crime Investigations Unit is a member and works in partnership with the California Rural Crime Prevention Task Force and Central Valley Rural Crime Prevention Task Force. For more information

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Rural Crime Prevention

The Rural Crime Prevention Program aims to improve the lines of communication between local law enforcement agencies and the agricultural community.

The epidemic levels of metal theft and the continued rise in rural crimes such as illegal dumping, vandalism, meth labs and thefts of farm equipment, chemicals, livestock, and crops highlights the need for this effort.

By joining together and improving communication efforts we can take a significant bite out of rural crime.

For more information please contact the Rural Crime Prevention Coordinator at 800-698-3276 (FARM).