Today: Jul 23 , 2019

Opinion: The Inevitable California Crime Wave

16 September 2018  

"... so-called “non-violent” offenders are having their sentences reduced and are being released from prison. Now the governor has signed into law a statute that will eliminate bail for most offenses."

Every year, we return to Long Beach for the annual Long Beach Police Officer Association's Police Picnic. We've been attending it since the first year I began working in 1974. Our two sons have been going since birth. The food is always great, the games are fun and we get to see a lot of old friends and partners. Our grandchildren are now attending and are going home with prizes they win in some of the games.

This year we've had to go to California early and stay longer than usual. My youngest sister, Dana, is ill and has to stay in the hospital for two weeks while she is receiving treatment for asplastic anemia. All prayers for this wife, mother, daughter, sister and altogether giving, selfless woman are greatly appreciated.

While listening to national and local California news, the debate is whether there will be a political blue wave for the Democrats or a red wave for the Republicans. What ever way that pendulum swings, the one certain thing is that there is a crime tsunami heading directly for that once great state.

In the recent past, through deceptively worded initiatives and laws passed by the state legislature, so-called “non-violent” offenders are having their sentences reduced and are being released from prison. Now the governor has signed into law a statute that will eliminate bail for most offenses. It's hard to believe, but the progressives' argument is that this will save money that would be used to keep offenders, who can't afford bail, in custody. When was the last time anyone on the left worried about the cost of any of their programs? In addition, there are already jurisdictions and proposals that would lower many felonies to misdemeanors and misdemeanors to infractions.

The cumulative effect will be the exact opposite of the “broken window” theory. Simply put, that theory states that when broken windows in an area are repaired, crime goes down. When they are not repaired, this invites more vandals to break more windows and that generates a lawless impression that increases crime.

With more crooks being released early from incarceration, with fewer suspects being held in jail before trial because bail is no longer required, with the arbitrary lessening of crimes, there will be more miscreants out on the streets. There will be fewer felony and misdemeanor offenses that will have shorter incarceration times. California is determined to show other states how to greatly increase crime.

There will be many on the left who will stridently defend California's policies as the bold new wave of criminal justice reform. They will produce statistics that will show a drop in crime. Do not be fooled. If the law changes auto theft from a felony to a misdemeanor, or petty theft from a misdemeanor to an infraction, the total number of felony and misdemeanor crime stats will go down, but the number of auto thefts and petty thefts committed will greatly increase. This is true of every crime that the law diminishes in severity. The bold new wave of criminal justice reform will result in a huge rogue crime wave.




Buz Williams, Opinion Columnist

Richard F. "Buz" Williams was born into a police family.  His father, both grandfathers, a great uncle and a cousin were all on the Los Angeles Police Department and he also had an uncle on the Hawthorne, California Police Department.  Buz served for 29 years on the Long Beach, California Police Department were he worked Patrol, Juvenile, Vice, Auto Theft and Gangs.  He retired in December of 2002.  Buz has been married to his wife Judi for 44 years.  They have two grown sons who live in Southern California with their families, which include two daughter-in-laws, three grandsons and a granddaughter.  Buz and Judi have lived in Prescott since 2004.

The opinions expressed in Buz's columns are expressly his own, and do not necessarily reflect the policy or position of this publication.