The state government will spend a massive amount of money to increase patrols, purchase surveillance equipment, and conduct activities to crack down on the rampant robbery operations that have been causing major harm to local businesses around the Golden State. The said move was announced by officials from the California Highway Patrol and San Francisco and Los Angeles law enforcement agencies on Friday, September 15.
"Enough with these brazen smash-and-grabs – we are ensuring law enforcement agencies have the resources they need to take down these criminals," the Democrat governor said in a statement about the grants, saying that this is part of his "Real Public Safety Plan."
“Enough with these brazen smash-and-grabs."
Governor Gavin Newsom announces $267M investment against organize retail crime. Funds would go toward 55 cities and counties’ law enforcement agencies across California. To be voted on September 14. @DavidLamNTD pic.twitter.com/lH2c25HTFH
— California Today (@Calif_Today_NTD) September 14, 2023
The spending comes from a pot of money Newsom first requested in late 2021 after he signed a law to reestablish a statewide task force to focus on investigating organized theft rings. The money will be given through grants over the next three years to 55 agencies, including local police departments, and sheriff's and district attorney's offices.
Meanwhile, Revolver News was quick to point out that Newsom's proposed investment is kind of odd, raising eyebrows of some, simply because these "smash and grab" incidents would have not existed in the first place if it weren't for California residents effectively endorsing this type of crime through the "$950.00 petty theft" law they happily voted for back in 2014. "The people of California can't even blame this one on the crooked politicians. Hilariously, the pushers of Prop 47 promised that 'the savings from reduced incarceration costs would be invested into drug and mental health treatment programs for at-risk students in K-12 schools, and victim services.'"
The majority of Californians may not have yet realized that they brought this upon themselves when they voted for their "own demise" less than a decade ago. But San Mateo County Supervisor David Canepa, who recently took to X, formerly Twitter, realizes his mistake of backing the said radical crime bill. It only legalized shoplifting and made the pandemic of retail theft worse, an "absolute outrage" even. (Related: Pandemic of retail THEFT: Democrat county supervisor now regrets stupidly backing a radical crime bill that legalized shoplifting in California.)
Canepa said he used to be for the passing of the legislation because he saw it as a chance to give people serving long sentences for retail theft a second chance. Prop 47 allowed felons serving prison terms to petition for reduced sentences under the new classifications. It also raised the minimum amount of stolen goods from $400 to $950 for a theft case to be classified as a felony. Naturally, criminal mobs took advantage of the law because they knew that if they got arrested, they could simply walk out of jail the next day and only face misdemeanor charges. This, according to critics, is what has caused the rise in petty theft across the state.
"I thought it was a good idea then because we need to give people an opportunity, we need to give people a chance," Canepa told CBS, adding he was wrong to back the measure now that the explosion of retail theft in California and elsewhere has become more evident. "I made a mistake, it was a big mistake, and you have to acknowledge your mistake."
As per the report, below are the Bay Area cities to receive the new grant beginning October 1.
The application was reportedly opened to law enforcement agencies earlier this summer all throughout the state. However, the City of Oakland was excluded from the list as it failed to "submit a completed application by the deadline." "This is a devastating blow to citizens and small businesses who have been clamoring for crime prevention measures which could have been funded by the millions of dollars in grants offered by the state. This money could have been used for extra police patrols, squad cars, and automated license plate readers to track down suspected perpetrators of crimes," leaders of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) Oakland.
Meanwhile, Oakland City Mayor Sheng Thao's office released the following statement to local news outlet KRON4:
"In early June the City's Economic & Workforce Development Department (EWDD) staff identified the Governor's Real Public Safety Plan grant opportunity and collaborated with OPD and community partners to put together an application. OPD and the community partners timely provided their material. Unfortunately, EWDD did not timely complete the submission. Obviously, this outcome is unacceptable. The City and department are reviewing everything that happened to ensure it does not happen again and will take appropriate action. EWDD leadership is already implementing internal protocol changes to prevent future issues like this one.
For many years, the City has had a decentralized approach to the grant process that sometimes produces challenges like this one. Mayor Thao and the city council recognized this as a systemic problem and in the two-year budget the council adopted in June, they invested in a new grants position that will help centralize and streamline the city's grants process, with an eye on specifically preventing future issues like this one. The city administrator is working with the city's hiring team to expedite the hiring of that position now."
The statement further claimed that community safety remains the city's highest priority and the local government is grateful for the resources their regional and state partners continue to provide.
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