Who is John McMahon?

Sheriff John McMahon is a resident of the High Desert with over 33 years of law enforcement experience. He has been married to his wife Shelly for 25 years and has two daughters, Abby and Allie. He began his career with the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department as a patrol deputy at the Needles Police/Sheriff’s Station, after which he was assigned to the Victorville and Hesperia Patrol Stations. Once promoted to sergeant, he worked supervisory positions at the West Valley Detention Center and Glen Helen Rehabilitation Center jail facilities, as well as the Victorville City Station and Employee Resources.

At the rank of lieutenant, John was second in command of the Sheriff’s Academy and the Fontana Station. As Captain, he was commander of the Central Detention Center, the Apple Valley Station, and West Valley Detention Center. As deputy chief, John oversaw the Detentions and Corrections Bureau, followed by an assignment to manage the Desert Patrol Bureau. John was then promoted to assistant sheriff, overseeing Operations. On December 31, 2012, John McMahon was appointed to Sheriff by the Board of Supervisors to fulfill the unexpired term of Sheriff. On Friday, June 21, 2013, John formally announced his candidacy for Sheriff and on June 3, 2014, he won in the primary election.

John is committed to maintaining the department on its current path of providing only the best public safety service to the citizens of San Bernardino County.

John possesses an Associate of Science Degree in Criminal Justice from Victor Valley College, and a Bachelor of Science Degree in Criminal Justice Management from Union Institute & University. He is certified as a Jail Manager through the American Jail Association, and is a graduate of the Los Angeles Police West Point Leadership Program. John was also inducted into the Victor Valley College Alumni Hall of Fame in 2007.

The Sheriff’s Department continues to be challenged by an economy that necessitates certain budget restraints. Sheriff McMahon remains committed to moving forward in order to partner with other public safety agencies and to regionalize services for cost effectiveness. Crime will continue to be tackled with diligence. The department will continue efforts on emphasizing education and a diversified workforce. The Sheriff’s diverse background and proven leadership, along with the dedicated men, women and volunteers of the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department, will be the driving forces behind our success.


I am humbled to have been given this great opportunity to serve you for the past 4 years as your sheriff, it is an honor to serve you again!
— John McMahon, San Bernardino County Sheriff

What we've Achieved

  • Under John's leadership, the department added deputy sheriffs to our unincorporated areas to serve you better.
  • We continue to push forward in the face of decriminalization of crimes by our state legislature.
  • We continue to diversify our workforce to reflect the communities we serve.
  • We equipped our deputies with the best tools they need to keep you safe.
  • We have partnered with county schools to bring educational programs that will lead our kids to law enforcement career paths.
  • John is committed to doing all that he can to make citizens safer.