California Police Chiefs Oppose State Budget Cuts Releasing Prisoners and Reducing Local Revenues

The California Police Chiefs Association opposes the Legislature’s budget recommendation to cut the CDCR budget by $1.2 billion by releasing up to 20,000 prisoners. “The first priority of any government is to ensure the safety of its citizens. This is true regardless of whether we are talking about national defense or local policing,” says CPCA President Bernard Melekian, chief of the Pasadena Police Department. “The proposed budget fails to even consider this aspect of true governance. Worse, it will not ultimately achieve the hoped for savings because it fails to take into account the 70% recidivism rate of those persons released from state prison.” The Police Chiefs oppose any proposed budget that calls for the release of thousands of inmates from the state prison system simply to achieve a financial goal that isn’t realistic to begin with.
“In addition to the proposal to release inmates, the current budget proposal dramatically reduces revenue to our respective cities and counties which in turn will result in cuts to our respective law enforcement budgets at a time when cities and counties have already made drastic cuts and in many instances laid off law enforcement officers. These budget proposals put the safety of communities at risk,” emphasized Chief Melekian.
The California Police Chiefs Association represents the state’s municipal police chiefs whose agencies protect over 78 percent of the citizens of California.

July 16, 2009

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