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WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW: The state is poised to award the largest-ever single investment to combat organized retail crime in California history this week — sending over $267 million to 55 cities and counties across the state to hire more police, make more arrests, and secure more felony charges against suspects.
SACRAMENTO –– Today Governor Gavin Newsom announced the state is poised to make the largest-ever single investment to combat organized retail crime — $267,118,293. As part of a competitive grant process, staff are recommending the Board of State and Community Corrections (BSCC) award funding to 55 local law enforcement agencies across California. If approved by the Board, the funding, part of the Governor's Real Public Safety Plan, is slated to be dispersed on October 1, 2023, to police departments, sheriffs' departments, and district attorney offices in every region of the state to prevent and investigate cases of organized retail theft and arrest and prosecute more suspects.
WHAT GOVERNOR NEWSOM SAID: "Enough with these brazen smash-and-grabs. With an unprecedented $267 million investment, Californians will soon see more takedowns, more police, more arrests, and more felony prosecutions. When shameless criminals walk out of stores with stolen goods, they'll walk straight into jail cells."
WHAT THIS MEANS:
✅ More Police | ✅ More Arrests | ✅ More Takedowns
Across the state, 41 sheriffs' and police departments, as well as one probation department, stand to be awarded up to $23,663,194 each. The funding would be used to create fully staffed retail theft investigative units, increase arrests, install advanced surveillance technology, train loss prevention officers, create new task forces, increase cooperation with businesses and the community, target criminals in blitz operations, as well as crack down on vehicle and catalytic converter theft. After a competitive grant application process for the state's Organized Retail Theft Grant Program, local law enforcement agencies in seven counties and 34 cities are being recommended for funding by BSCC: Orange County, Los Angeles County, Riverside County, Sacramento County, San Mateo County, Santa Clara County, Ventura County and the cities of Anaheim, Bakersfield, Beverly Hills, Brea, Campbell, Chula Vista, Citrus Heights, Clovis, Coalinga, Costa Mesa, Daly City, Delano, Fremont, Fresno, Garden Grove, Hemet, Irvine, Los Angeles, Modesto, National City, Newark, Palm Springs, Palo Alto, Roseville, Salinas, San Bruno, San Fernando, San Francisco, San Jose, San Ramon, Santa Monica, Santa Rosa, and Vacaville. Recommended funding levels and project scopes for each agency are available on BSCC's website.
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✅ More Prosecutors | ✅ More Felony Charges | ✅ More Accountability
13 district attorneys' offices across California stand to receive up to $2,050,000 each. The funding would be used to establish new vertical prosecution units — new teams dedicated to prosecuting organized retail theft — and to establish county-wide de facto "intelligence centers," prosecution hubs for all related investigations within a county. After a competitive grant application process for the Organized Retail Theft Vertical Prosecution Grant Program, the following district attorneys' offices are being recommended for funding by BSCC: Alameda, Humboldt, Orange, Placer, Riverside, Sacramento, Santa Barbara, Santa Clara, San Francisco, Stanislaus, Sonoma, Ventura, and Yolo. Recommended funding levels and project scopes for each agency are available on BSCC's website.
BSCC Members are scheduled to vote on the recommendations on Thursday, September 14, 2023. The Board meeting can be viewed here. All funds for both grants will be allocated in annual installments over the next three years.
This week's funding is poised 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. Local efforts are supported by the California Highway Patrol's (CHP) Organized Retail Theft Task Force (ORCTF), which successfully dismantles large-scale statewide organized crime operations. Established by Governor Newsom in 2019, the ORCTF has recovered $30.7 million in stolen merchandise, conducted more than 1,850 investigations, and arrested over 1,250 individuals statewide.
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Public safety funding in California is at an all-time high. Building on investments to improve officer retention and well-being and the Governor's Real Public Safety Plan – which focuses on strengthening local law enforcement response, ensuring perpetrators are held accountable, and getting guns and drugs off our streets – California's 2023-24 budget includes more than $800 million in funding to support multiple programs to improve public safety and crack down on retail crime, including today's grants.
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