EDITOR’S NOTE: I originally posted this on September 24, but the item in question — the Anaheim Police Department’s report on the impacts of Gov. Brown’s “re-alignment” policy — was continued to tonight’s council meeting.
The prison realignment policy implemented by Gov. Jerry Brown two years ago is a terrible policy the only sure consequence of which — other than complying with court-ordered reduction in the state prison population — is increased crime. When thousands of criminals are released back among the law-abiding, they will commit crimes against the law-abiding.
On tonight’s Anaheim City Council agenda is a report from the Anaheim Police Department on the impact of realignment on Anaheim. Not surprisingly, the impact has been an increase in crime.
The statistical data provided suggests a strong correlation between the program, repeat offenses and an increase in criminal activity in the City of Anaheim. Further, the data concerning the PCS probationers released in Anaheim show the increased local burden of offender supervision, housing and rehabilitation created by the program, along with its potential impacts on the community. For example, after a subject has been arrested on a new charge while under the PCS Program, the bill allows release of that subject into our community to re-offend at a time when jail overcrowding forces low bail schedules and even the release of prisoners with a citation. An example of this was an Anaheim PCS probationer who was discharged from supervision in December of 2012. After discharge from supervision, the subject committed a number of serious crimes in the three months following his discharge. This subject was involved in an Anaheim Police Department vehicle pursuit and subsequently arrested with ammunition inside his vehicle. After he was released on bail from that charge, he was arrested a short time later for possession of a half-pound of methamphetamine and a firearm. After his second release, the subject was again arrested in Anaheim for having been found to be in possession of two firearms and a substantial amount of methamphetamine.
Looking specifically at the impact to the City of Anaheim, 212 of the 265 Anaheim PCS probationers have been arrested a total of 426 times through July 2013, with 39% being repeat offenders. In 2012, four (4) homicides, or 26% of all homicides that year were committed by PCS probationers in the City of Anaheim. In one instance, a subject on PCS was arrested last year for shooting and killing two adult males in a vehicle in the City of Anaheim. Another homicide involved a PCS probationer who did not reside in the City of Anaheim, but who came to the city and killed an Anaheim resident. In August 2013, an Anaheim PCS probationer was arrested for the shooting and killing of another Anaheim resident. These are just a few examples of the most serious and violent crimes committed by PCS offenders.
Another eye-popping statistic from the report: an 40.1% increase in stolen vehicles (from 1817 to 2546) in the 21 months after realignment began.
It’s no coincidence that when more repeat criminal offenders were locked up following the passage of three Strikes, we experienced a decline in crime. It was not the only factor, but a significant one.
So, someone tell me again that the biggest law enforcement issues in Anaheim are the phatom one of “police brutality and racism,” as Donna Acevedo and Genevieve Huizar claimed in their missive calling for a commemoration of the July 2012 riot.
Judging by the APD’s realignment report, I don’t think it is police in Anaheim who need more oversight.