AG Kamala Harris statement on loss of our law enforcement capabilities

CA budget cuts

News Release from Attorney General Kamala D. Harris
June 29, 2011
For Immediate Release
Contact: (415) 703-5837

Attorney General Kamala D. Harris Issues Statement on Loss of California Law Enforcement Capabilities
I congratulate Governor Jerry Brown and the Legislature for their success in passing California’s budget bill. However, I join California law enforcement leaders in expressing serious concerns over the passage yesterday of $71 million in cuts to the Division of Law Enforcement budget. These budget cuts handcuff the state Department of Justice’s ability to fight gang violence and disrupt the flow of drugs, guns and human beings across our border.

The cuts will likely eliminate 55 state-led task forces that coordinate the response to our growing gang problem. The Bureau of Investigation and Intelligence and Bureau of Narcotic Enforcement will also likely be eliminated, as will the investigative capacities of the newly-formed Mortgage Fraud Strike Force. All told, several hundred agents, investigators, and other law enforcement positions will be lost, as will 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 were terrorizing two counties.
– In the Bay Area, agents arrested another 30 gang members – and seized 100 plus pounds of methamphetamine destined for our 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 our government. For that reason, I call on Governor Brown and the Legislature to immediately restore adequate funding to California law enforcement.

The following organizations and individuals have joined me in expressing their grave concerns (

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
Arvin Police Chief Tommy W. Tunson

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