SACRAMENTO, Calif. /California Newswire/ — Governor Jerry Brown today announced that law enforcement leaders across the state have expressed support for his revised realignment plan to put more power back in the hands of local communities. To date, Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca, the California Police Chiefs Association (CPCA), the Peace Officers Research Association of California (PORAC), the California Peace Officers’ Association (CPOA), the California State Sheriffs’ Association (CSSA), Chief Probation Officers of California (CPOC), the Association for Los Angeles County Deputy Sheriffs (ALADS), and the Los Angeles County Deputy Probation Officers Union have all voiced their support in concept for the Governor’s realignment plan.
“Local law enforcement has the best perspective on what our communities need, and their support is important,” said Brown. “If we don’t extend temporary taxes it’s likely that law enforcement will have to absorb even deeper cuts than those currently proposed. I hope that California’s legislators will stand up for public safety and support putting tax extensions to a vote of the people.”
Law enforcement has highlighted this support—and their concerns over delayed budget negotiations—in letters to the Governor and public announcements. While all have identified areas for additional discussion, there is clear support for the Governor’s proposal.
“California State Sheriffs’ Association is extremely concerned about the possibility of stalled budget talks. Our ability to fund important public safety programs such as Cal-MMET for methamphetamine interdiction, COPS funding for deputy sheriffs, police officers, probation officers and district attorneys is very much at risk if we do not approve the resources portion of Governor Brown’s proposed realignment budget plan in a timely manner,” said Merced County Sheriff Mark Pazin, president of the CSSA, in a statement on March 7.
“Chief Probation Officers of California offered their support in concept last week for the Governor’s revised proposal. As we have said, probation can be a part of the solution under realignment if properly funded. We recognize there are still a lot of details to be worked out between now and the June election. However, the resources needed to address the realignment proposal must also be approved in time for the June ballot in order to protect public safety,” said Linda Penner, president of the CPOC, in a statement on March 7.
“We encourage continued discussions and stand ready to assist in working through the issues expeditiously. The consequences of failing to do so jeopardize not only vital current law enforcement funding but also any ability to address realignment in a meaningful way,” Penner continued.
“We are in basic agreement that the key goals of realignment are to move government programs and revenues closer to the people, where local decision-makers can best tailor programs to meet the needs of their communities,” wrote Sheriff Baca on March 3.
“As you said this week when you spoke with our members, there is risk inherent in any changes, but we believe that your realignment plan has the potential to achieve improved public safety outcomes in our communities,” wrote CPCA President and Irvine’s Chief of Police David L. Maggard, Jr. and Susan E. Manheimer, chief of police for the City of San Mateo and CPCA’s immediate past president – on March 4.
“I am writing to show our support, in concept, of your updated public safety realignment proposals. We appreciate your efforts to work with law enforcement on a solution that will help ease California’s budget deficit while still ensuring the safety of our communities,” wrote Ron Cottingham, PORAC president, on March 4.
“With cognizance of the priorities set forth above, CPOA is generally supportive of what it is you are trying to accomplish. We appreciate your leadership and efforts to listen to CPOA and other law enforcement organizations,” wrote Jim McDonnell, CPOA president and chief of police for the City of Long Beach, on March 2.