State Makes Largest-ever Investment to Combat Smash-and-grabs
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW: Today the state awarded the largest-ever single investment to combat organized retail crime in California history — sending over $267 million to 55 cities and counties to increase arrests and prosecutions for organized retail crime.
SACRAMENTO — Today Governor Gavin Newsom announced the state’s largest-ever single investment to combat organized retail crime — $267,118,293 — was awarded unanimously by the Board of State and Community Corrections (BSCC) to 55 local law enforcement agencies across California. The funding, part of the Governor’s Real Public Safety Plan, will be dispersed on October 1, 2023, to 34 police departments, 7 sheriffs’ departments, one probation department, and 13 district attorney offices to prevent and investigate cases of organized retail theft and arrest and prosecute more suspects.
WHAT GOVERNOR NEWSOM SAID: “California is investing hundreds of millions of dollars to crack down on organized crime and support local law enforcement. Enough with these brazen smash-and-grabs — we’re ensuring law enforcement agencies have the resources they need to take down these criminals.”
As previewed by the Governor earlier this week, 41 sheriffs’ and police departments, as well as one probation department, are today being awarded up to $23,663,194 each. The funding will be used to create fully staffed retail theft investigative units, increase arrests, install advanced surveillance technology, train loss prevention officers, create new task forces, increase cooperation with businesses and the community, target criminals in blitz operations, as well as crack down on vehicle and catalytic converter theft.
After a competitive grant application process for the state’s Organized Retail Theft Grant Program, local law enforcement agencies in seven counties and 31 cities are being awarded funding by BSCC: OrangeCounty, Los Angeles County, Riverside County, Sacramento County, San Mateo County, SantaClara County, Ventura County and the cities of Anaheim, Bakersfield, Beverly Hills, Brea, Campbell, Chula Vista, Citrus Heights, Coalinga, Costa Mesa, Daly City, Delano, Fremont, Fresno, Garden Grove, Hemet, Irvine, Los Angeles, Modesto, National City, Newark, Palm Springs, Palo Alto, Roseville, Salinas, San Fernando, SanFrancisco, San Jose, San Ramon, Santa Monica, Santa Rosa, and Vacaville. Funding levels and project scopes for each agency are available on BSCC’s website.
13 district attorneys’ offices across California are today receiving up to $2,050,000 each. The funding will be used to establish new vertical prosecution units — new teams dedicated to prosecuting organized retail theft — and to establish county-wide de facto “intelligence centers,” prosecution hubs for all related investigations within a county.
After a competitive grant application process for the Organized Retail Theft Vertical Prosecution Grant Program, the following district attorneys’ offices are being awarded funding by BSCC: Alameda, Humboldt, Orange, Placer, Riverside, Sacramento, Santa Barbara, Santa Clara, San Francisco, Stanislaus, Sonoma, Ventura, and Yolo. Funding levels and project scopes for each agency are available on BSCC’s website.
All funds for both grants will be allocated in annual installments over the next three years.
Today’s funding will significantly aid local law enforcement in cracking down on organized retail theft and other types of property crime — including vehicle and catalytic converter theft. Local efforts are supported by the California Highway Patrol’s (CHP) Organized Retail Theft Task Force (ORCTF), which successfully dismantles large-scale statewide organized crime operations. Established by Governor Newsom in 2019, the ORCTF has recovered $30.7 million in stolen merchandise, conducted more than 1,850 investigations, and arrested over 1,250 individuals statewide.
Public safety funding in California is at an all-time high. Building on investments to improve officer retention and well-being and the Governor’s Real Public Safety Plan – which focuses on strengthening local law enforcement response, ensuring perpetrators are held accountable, and getting guns and drugs off our streets – California’s 2023-24 budget includes more than $800 million in funding to support multiple programs to improve public safety and crack down on retail crime, including today’s grants.