HESPERIA After a year and a half on the beat, the city's top law enforcement officer is leaving his post.


Capt. Steve Higgins announced during Tuesday's City Council meeting that he'll be heading down to San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department headquarters June 30 to oversee the Administrative Services Division, responsible for the department's budget and overall fiscal management.


"Although I look forward to the many challenges this new assignment will present, I will certainly miss the job of serving as the police chief for the city of Hesperia," Higgins, who grew up in Hesperia and is a 26-year veteran of the force, said in an emailed statement Wednesday. "The time I spent working at the Hesperia Police Station has been incredibly rewarding and I feel extremely honored to have spent the past year and a half helping to provide public safety services to the city I called home for over 20 years, and it will always have a special place in my heart."


Capt. Nils Bentsen will take over command of the Hesperia station on July 1.


Bentsen is another hometown boy: His family moved to Hesperia in the mid-1970s and he is a graduate of Hesperia Christian School.


Most recently, Bentsen served as a lieutenant on the department's SWAT team.


Read the June 26 edition of the Hesperia Star for more on Higgins' departure and Bentsen's plans for his new post.


Beau Yarbrough may be reached at (760) 956-7108 or at Beau@HesperiaStar.com.