California Makes Historic Investment to Combat Organized Retail Crime
By Joe W. Bowers Jr., Edward Henderson, and Antonio Ray Harvey
On September 12, Governor Gavin Newsom announced a groundbreaking investment of $267,118,293 by the state to combat organized retail crime. This investment marks the largest single contribution ever made by the state to assist law enforcement in their fight against crime. If approved, the funding will be allocated to 55 local law enforcement agencies throughout California as part of a competitive grant process.
The initiative, known as the Real Public Safety Plan, aims to prevent and investigate cases of organized retail theft, as well as arrest and prosecute more suspects. Governor Newsom stated that with this unprecedented investment, Californians will see more takedowns, more police presence, more arrests, and more felony prosecutions. The goal is to ensure that when criminals engage in brazen smash-and-grabs, they will be apprehended and held accountable.
The funds will be used to create fully staffed retail theft investigative units, increase arrests, implement advanced surveillance technology, provide training for loss prevention officers, establish new task forces, enhance cooperation with businesses and the community, conduct blitz operations targeting criminals, and crack down on vehicle and catalytic converter theft.
The distribution of the funding is set to take place on October 1, with police departments, sheriffs’ departments, and district attorneys’ offices in every region of the state benefiting from the investment. This comprehensive approach aims to strengthen law enforcement efforts and better equip them to combat organized retail crime effectively.
Following the announcement of the grants, the Governor’s office organized a news briefing featuring four prominent law enforcement leaders whose offices will benefit from the program. The speakers included California Highway Patrol Commissioner Sean Duryee, San Francisco District Attorney Brooke Jenkins, San Francisco Police Department Chief Bill Scott, and Los Angeles County Assistant Sheriff Holly Francisco.
Jenkins expressed her gratitude to Governor Newsom for prioritizing this issue and allocating resources from the state to address the problem of organized retail crime. She emphasized that such conduct is completely unacceptable and will not be tolerated in the state of California.
This historic investment reflects the commitment of the California government to promoting public safety and protecting businesses and communities from the detrimental effects of organized retail crime. With enhanced resources and collaborative efforts, law enforcement agencies across the state are well-positioned to make a significant impact in combating this growing issue.
By allocating substantial funding and implementing a comprehensive plan, Governor Newsom and the state of California send a clear message that they are taking decisive action to address organized retail crime and hold perpetrators accountable. The results of this investment will undoubtedly contribute to a safer and more secure environment for all Californians.