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July 5, 2011 > Grave concerns over loss of law enforcement capabilities

Grave concerns over loss of law enforcement capabilities

Submitted By the Office of the Attorney General

State Attorney General Kamala D. Harris has joined California law enforcement leaders in expressing serious concerns over the passage on June 28, 2011, of $71M in cuts to the Division of Law Enforcement budget as part of California's budget bill. The budget cuts curtail the state Department of Justice's (DOJ) ability to fight gang violence and the flow of drugs, guns and human beings across the border.

The cuts are likely to eliminate 55 state-led task forces that coordinate the response to the growing gang problem. The Bureau of Investigation and Intelligence and Bureau of Narcotic Enforcement might also have to be eliminated, including the investigative capacities of the newly-formed Mortgage Fraud Strike Force. In total, several hundred agents, investigators and other law enforcement positions will be lost, including the ability to prosecute cases like these.

In the Central Valley, a DOJ-led task force recently helped arrest 101 gang leaders and members who terrorized two counties. In the Bay Area, agents arrested another 30 gang members and seized more than 100 pounds of methamphetamine destined for the streets. In San Diego, they arrested three suspects sent from Mexico on a murder-for-hire contract targeting an entire family. In Los Angeles, two task forces slated for elimination - LA IMPACT and LA CLEAR - have played a vital role in the policing of gangs. Throughout the state, the Mortgage Fraud Strike Force has opened investigations into criminal and consumer fraud. These investigations range from foreclosure scams, affecting large numbers of victims, to multi-million dollar corporate fraud.

Public safety is a basic right of all people and a core function of government. For that reason, Harris calls on Governor Brown and the Legislature to immediately restore adequate funding to California law enforcement.

The California Police Chiefs Association, California District Attorneys Association, California Narcotic Officers' Association, San Diego District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis, Imperial County District Attorney Gilbert G. Otero, Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck, East Palo Alto Police Chief Ronald L. Davis and Arvin Police Chief Tommy W. Tunson join Harris in expressing their grave concerns.

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