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Jun 2016
Governor digs California deeper into public safety crisis
LAPPL Board of Directors

The adage goes, “If you find yourself in a hole, stop digging.” It’s wise advice that our governor should heed. This November, Governor Jerry Brown is asking California voters to dig ourselves deeper and deeper into a public safety crisis.

A pair of laws passed by the California Legislature and California voters has wreaked havoc on public safety in communities across the state. AB 109, signed into law by Governor Brown in 2011, pushed more inmates from our state prison system into our county jails, creating pressure for overcrowding in those facilities and earlier releases. Proposition 47, passed by California voters in 2012, released more prison inmates into our neighborhoods and reduced multiple felony crimes to misdemeanors.

The impact? We have more felons on our streets who now know they have almost free rein when it comes to committing crimes. The proof is in the numbers. Violent crime in Los Angeles is up 47.7 percent since 2014. Property crime is up 17.5 percent, auto theft is up 37.8 percent, burglary theft from vehicles are up 27.5 percent over that same time period. Are the “reform” laws promulgated by Governor Brown solely to blame for these devastating impacts on our neighborhoods? No. But ask any cop on patrol or your neighbor who has had their car broken into and they’ll tell you from personal experience that the new laws are a major contributor to the problem.

The public safety hole we find ourselves in is a mile deep and Governor Brown wants to keep digging. The governor has qualified an initiative for the November ballot that will make state prisoners eligible for parole after only serving a small portion of their sentences. This will be true even if the prisoner was convicted for crimes such as assault with a deadly weapon, human trafficking and manslaughter as reported by Dan Walters of the Sacramento Bee. It’s absurd.

How high does crime have to rise for politicians to get the message that enough is enough?

Of course, if we were to dump more criminals on our streets, there will be funds to help cities mitigate the damages, right? Of course not. There is no funding attached to increase our police forces in California to ensure the thousands and thousands of convicted criminals free to roam our streets do not reoffend. So police departments like LAPD and Los Angeles residents are stranded alone to figure out how to compassionately deal with a homeless crisis, rising gang activity, and a surge of street criminals who know they won’t be arrested as long as they only rip you off for less than a $1,000.

You may choose to believe that the governor had the best of intentions when signing AB 109 and pushing for Proposition 47. The experiment is over and it failed our communities miserably. He knows exactly what will happen if he cons voters into supporting his latest attack on our safety.

Governor Brown, put down the shovel. California’s hole is deep enough.

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