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Newsom announces proposal of more than $300M to combat retail theft, violent crime

'This moment requires us to do more and to broaden and deepen our efforts throughout the state.'

A view of Stanford Shopping Center. A proposal would make $255 million in grants available to law enforcement agencies over three years to address organized retail theft, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced on Dec. 17, 2021. Embarcadero Media file photo.

On Friday, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced a proposal to allocate upwards of $300 million over the next three years to curtail organized retail theft and violent crime across the state.

Speaking at the California Highway Patrol's Dublin office, Newsom pledged to infuse local law enforcement agencies and district attorney's offices with funding to crack down on retail, gun and drug crime.

The plan would make $255 million in grants available to law enforcement agencies over three years, enabling them to expand the number of officers they station at retail locations and hone in on organized retail theft.

"We recognize this moment requires us to do more and to broaden and deepen our efforts throughout the state of California," Newsom said, referencing the retail theft operations in recent months in the Bay Area.

Newsom's proposal would make permanent what is currently known as the Organized Retail Crime Task Force within the CHP. Since its inception in 2019, the task force has recovered nearly $20 million in stolen goods.

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The renamed Smash and Grab Enforcement Unit already operates in the Bay Area and Los Angeles, Orange and San Diego counties, and would expand to include Sacramento and the San Joaquin Valley under Newsom's proposal.

It would also provide $20 million in grants to small businesses that have been affected by smash-and-grab operations and organized theft.

State and local prosecutors and investigators would have access to nearly $50 million in combined grants over three years to combat retail crime, with $30 million allocated for district attorneys and $18 million to support the creation of a dedicated investigative team within the state attorney general's office focusing on retail theft.

"The resources and funding announced today, they're a game changer," Attorney General Rob Bonta said. The proposal "provides the (Department of Justice) with additional funding to bolster our existing efforts, taking down the perpetrators at the top of these crime rings and shutting down the pipeline of stolen merchandise, freezing out the illicit market and ensuring serious criminals face serious consequences."

As part of the funding proposal, Newsom also included plans to create a statewide gun buyback program, fund gun violence research at the University of California at Davis and allocate $20 million to the National Guard to target drug smuggling, particularly internationally via the state's southern border.

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"I've traveled across the state as attorney general ... to rural, to urban, coastal and inland communities," Bonta said. "I have yet to meet a single Californian who does not want to be protected from crime."

Newsom is expected to include the crime prevention funding in his 2022-2023 budget proposal to the state Legislature, which he is set to fully unveil next month.

"I hope people will feel more confidence that the state is doing its part to help support local government and local agencies address this very, very serious issue of crime and retail theft here in the state of California," he said.

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Newsom announces proposal of more than $300M to combat retail theft, violent crime

'This moment requires us to do more and to broaden and deepen our efforts throughout the state.'

by Eli Walsh / Bay City News Foundation /

Uploaded: Tue, Dec 21, 2021, 9:03 am

On Friday, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced a proposal to allocate upwards of $300 million over the next three years to curtail organized retail theft and violent crime across the state.

Speaking at the California Highway Patrol's Dublin office, Newsom pledged to infuse local law enforcement agencies and district attorney's offices with funding to crack down on retail, gun and drug crime.

The plan would make $255 million in grants available to law enforcement agencies over three years, enabling them to expand the number of officers they station at retail locations and hone in on organized retail theft.

"We recognize this moment requires us to do more and to broaden and deepen our efforts throughout the state of California," Newsom said, referencing the retail theft operations in recent months in the Bay Area.

Newsom's proposal would make permanent what is currently known as the Organized Retail Crime Task Force within the CHP. Since its inception in 2019, the task force has recovered nearly $20 million in stolen goods.

The renamed Smash and Grab Enforcement Unit already operates in the Bay Area and Los Angeles, Orange and San Diego counties, and would expand to include Sacramento and the San Joaquin Valley under Newsom's proposal.

It would also provide $20 million in grants to small businesses that have been affected by smash-and-grab operations and organized theft.

State and local prosecutors and investigators would have access to nearly $50 million in combined grants over three years to combat retail crime, with $30 million allocated for district attorneys and $18 million to support the creation of a dedicated investigative team within the state attorney general's office focusing on retail theft.

"The resources and funding announced today, they're a game changer," Attorney General Rob Bonta said. The proposal "provides the (Department of Justice) with additional funding to bolster our existing efforts, taking down the perpetrators at the top of these crime rings and shutting down the pipeline of stolen merchandise, freezing out the illicit market and ensuring serious criminals face serious consequences."

As part of the funding proposal, Newsom also included plans to create a statewide gun buyback program, fund gun violence research at the University of California at Davis and allocate $20 million to the National Guard to target drug smuggling, particularly internationally via the state's southern border.

"I've traveled across the state as attorney general ... to rural, to urban, coastal and inland communities," Bonta said. "I have yet to meet a single Californian who does not want to be protected from crime."

Newsom is expected to include the crime prevention funding in his 2022-2023 budget proposal to the state Legislature, which he is set to fully unveil next month.

"I hope people will feel more confidence that the state is doing its part to help support local government and local agencies address this very, very serious issue of crime and retail theft here in the state of California," he said.

Comments

Jennifer
Registered user
another community
on Dec 21, 2021 at 9:17 am
Jennifer, another community
Registered user
on Dec 21, 2021 at 9:17 am

Too little, too late. Progressives voted on this soft on crime BS, Californians were warned this would happen and it's happened. Now Newsom wants to throw money at it. If smash and grabs are what it takes to wake people up, let's just say a lot of voters in California have a clear conscious.


Bystander
Registered user
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Dec 21, 2021 at 10:32 am
Bystander, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
Registered user
on Dec 21, 2021 at 10:32 am

Can't help wondering how this will sit with the "defund police" crowd?

Defunding the police and the ability to wear masks (along with hoodies) as well as what Jennifer has already commented, has made this type of crime much easier for those inclined as well as those who may not have been so inclined beforehand. These villains are attempting to call themselves the victims instead of criminals.

Our topsy turvy world is getting more crazy by the week!


William Hitchens
Registered user
Mountain View
on Dec 21, 2021 at 11:33 am
William Hitchens, Mountain View
Registered user
on Dec 21, 2021 at 11:33 am

Two keys: Restore tough laws on theft, shoplifting, and burglary and ENFORCE them. Also, go after the pipeline --- identify, shut down, convict, and imprison fences receiving stolen property from smash and grab and other crimes against property. The tough part here is black market Internet sales. i recently read that eBay, where a lot of this merchandise probably is sold, so far has refused to cooperate with law enforcement agencies seeking personal info on vendors selling suspect merchandise through its website.


Online Name
Registered user
Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Dec 21, 2021 at 11:41 am
Online Name, Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
Registered user
on Dec 21, 2021 at 11:41 am

Yes. But not too long ago eBay's stock fell dramatically when it announced it was implementing some type of sneaker authenticity program designed to stop / limit the trade in counterfeit sneakers which can cost more than $1,000. Evidently there's big money to be made there as the son of a Nike executive found out when he was running some type of sneaker speculation ring that got his mother fired since he used one of her credit cards in his business.


What Will They Do Next
Registered user
Old Palo Alto
on Dec 21, 2021 at 3:03 pm
What Will They Do Next, Old Palo Alto
Registered user
on Dec 21, 2021 at 3:03 pm

The "Reckoning"is upon us. Defund the police has now become Refund the police. Progressive liberals, aka Democrats know that the mid terms are going to strip them of their power locally and in D.C. All of a sudden we're hearing a "tough on crime" stance from them. Too little, too late.This is what happens when voters repeatedly elect progressive liberals into office. And it's been this way in California particularly for far too long. Newsom is going to allocate 30 million dollars to DAs who won't prosecute criminals? A lot of good that'll do. Throwing money at them won't change their attitudes. Case in point ... Chesa Boudin the San Francisco D.A. who is facing a most certain recall because of his failure to put people in jail when the punishment deserves nothing less. [Portion removed.] Think twice before you cast your next ballot. Albert Einstein has been credited with the following quote ... "Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result." Do you want more of the same or not? We no longer have an option if we want a safe and sane place to live.


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