Former Marine Niles Departing Sheriff’s Office After Two Decades Including Stint Heading JT Station

Sheriff’s Captain Lucas Niles will retire on July 28.
The commander of the Morongo Basin Sheriff’s Station since March 2020, he will move into retirement after 20 years with the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department.
For Niles, law enforcement was his second career. He was a military officer previously, having retired from the U.S. Marines.
Niles said working first as a deputy, then achieving the rank of detective by 2009, sergeant in 2013, lieutenant in 2017 and ultimately being promoted to captain in 2020 when he took on the assignment of heading the Morongo Basin Sheriff’s station was a rich experience and an honor. He said his accomplishments as a law enforcement officer were in large measure made possible by the support he and other members of the department had gotten from the community.In 2002 he started with the department as a patrol officer in the Morongo Basin sheriff’s station. As a detective, sergeant and lieutenant, he worked homicide.
He returned to the Morongo Basin in December 2018 as to serve as second-in-command to Captain Trevis Newport.
Niles first came to the Morongo Valley as a Marine in 1997.
As the head of the Morongo Basin Sheriff’s Station in Joshua Tree, Niles served as the chief of police for the City of Twentynine Palms and the Town of Yucca Valley.
The lowest moment of his time with the department came last year on Memorial Day when Sergeant Dominic Vaca, who served under Niles at the Morongo Basin Sheriff’s Station, was killed by gunfire while seeking to apprehend Bilal Winston Shabazz, an armed motorcyclist who had sought to elude capture after refusing to yield during an effort to ticket him for riding a bike without a license plate.
Like Niles, Vaca was a veteran, having served in the U.S. Army. Niles delivered a tribute to Vaca at his funeral.

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