Lt. James Porter has served Yucaipa for two short years and has left his mark on the community. His genuine caring nature and infectious smile instantly made him a local favorite but he is transferred to another town.
Porter orignally started with the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department in 1996. He worked at Glen Helen Rehabilitation Center, Central Detention Center, West Valley Detention Center and High Desert Detention Center. He worked in patrol, as a detective and as a sergeant.
“When I came to law enforcement, I wanted to work patrol and be out in the community making a difference. That has never changed,” said Porter.
Porter was transferred to Yucaipa in April of 2018.
“On the way to the station for the very first time, I stopped at the 76 Station on the Boulevard just up the road from the station. While I was pumping gas, an older lady walked over to me and said ‘Thank you for your service.’ She then asked for a hug and I gladly obliged. I knew right then this was where I was meant to be! Yucaipa is an amazing community. While crime does occur here – just as it does everywhere else – the crime rate is low and Yucaipa is one of the safest cities in the Inland Empire. People take care of each other here and we really need more of that in the world.”
Porter said there were many memorable moments over the past couple years. He is a passionate animal lover and supports Yucaipa Animal Placement Society.
“Back in July of 2019, I happened upon a fire in an underpass in San Bernardino while down there. I ran in to check and found an abandoned homeless camp. A could hear this little kitty screaming in there and rushed in to get him. He was a little burned and scared but I got him out and another department member adopted him and got him treated. When we shared the story on social media, community members brought in cat food to help him along.”
Porter is also a musician and often played piano at local retirement homes for residents. He was on the Yucaipa Community Foundation board and helped to raise thousands of dollars for the arts.
Porter said his biggest accomplishment at YPD was expanding the relationship with the community.
“I really believe the police-community team approach is the only way to go and, with the support of Sheriff McMahon and Captain Williams, I was fortunate enough to be given the opportunity to engage with the community virtually and in real-life and build what I honestly believe is one of the best police-community relationships I’ve experienced,” said Porter. “Relationships mean trust, trust means communication and communication helps us protect our community.
Porter’s new assignment will be with the Inmates Services Unit (ISU). ISU is a support unit to the entire county jail system – we have jails all over the county from Needles to Rancho Cucamonga.
Hopefully Porter will eventually return home, to Yucaipa.