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The Board of State and Community Corrections (BSCC) unanimously approved the grant which will be used to create fully staffed retail theft investigative units, increase arrests, install advanced surveillance technology, train loss prevention officers, create new task forces and increase cooperation with businesses and the community.
41 sheriffs' and police departments as well as one probation department are being awarded up to $23,663,194 each. 13 district attorneys' offices across California are receiving up to $2,050,000 each for establishing new vertical prosecution units and county-wide de facto "intelligence centers" for all related investigations within a county.
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The funds will be allocated in annual installments over the next three years. The grant is expected to significantly aid local law enforcement in cracking down on organized retail theft and other types of property crime including vehicle and catalytic converter theft.
Governor Newsom said: "California is investing hundreds of millions of dollars to crack down on organized crime and support local law enforcement. Enough with these brazen smash-and-grabs — we're ensuring law enforcement agencies have the resources they need to take down these criminals."
The California Highway Patrol's (CHP) Organized Retail Theft Task Force (ORCTF), established by Governor Newsom in 2019 has recovered $30.7 million in stolen merchandise, conducted more than 1,850 investigations and arrested over 1,250 individuals statewide.
Public safety funding in California is at an all-time high with more than $800 million allocated in the 2023-24 budget for multiple programs to improve public safety and crack down on retail crime including today's grants.
Today's announcement marks a major step forward in combating organized retail crime in California as local law enforcement agencies are now equipped with necessary resources to take down criminals involved in such activities.
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