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Governor Newsom Announces Partnership between CHP and Bakersfield Police Department to Step Up Efforts to Take Down Crime in the Central Valley

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WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW: Governor Newsom is launching a coordinated enforcement effort in Bakersfield to continue improving public safety, address roadway violence, and stop criminal activity. 

BAKERSFIELD — Building on statewide efforts to keep California communities safe, Governor Gavin Newsom today announced a crime suppression partnership between the California Highway Patrol (CHP) and the Bakersfield Police Department. As part of this coordinated law enforcement operation, the CHP is  launching expanded enforcement actions in and around Bakersfield  to address auto theft, retail crime, and high-visibility, proactive traffic enforcement.

WHAT GOVERNOR NEWSOM SAID: “We are working hand-in-hand with our local law enforcement partners to increase police operations, stop crime and keep the Central Valley safe. This partnership builds on our statewide efforts to take down criminal networks, stop dangerous individuals, and make our communities safer for all Californians.” 

The crime suppression effort includes CHP officers from the Bakersfield and surrounding CHP Area offices, along with investigators from the CHP’s Central Division, all of whom will be supported by personnel from the Bakersfield Police Department. 

“Public safety remains a top priority for Bakersfield residents. This partnership underscores our commitment to ensuring the safety and security of our residents,” said Bakersfield Mayor Karen Goh. “We are grateful for the partnership with the California Highway Patrol. By combining resources and expertise, we are enhancing law enforcement capabilities and creating a safe community.” 

“The California Highway Patrol is committed to its mission of saving lives and improving public safety,” said CHP Commissioner Sean Duryee. “These ongoing crime suppression operations alongside the Bakersfield Police Department build on our existing partnership, while making Bakersfield a safer place to live, work and visit.” 

Kern County has higher rates of property crime, violent crime, and arrest rates compared to the statewide average. In coordination with the Bakersfield Police Department, the CHP will saturate high-crime areas of mutual interest, aiming to reduce roadway violence and criminal activity in the area, specifically vehicle theft and organized retail crime. 

“We are very grateful for the continued partnership with the California Highway Patrol,” said Bakersfield Police Department Chief Greg Terry. “Having additional resources to address a wide range of public safety challenges during special operations will greatly assist in our efforts to meet the needs and concerns of our community.” 

Previously, through the Organized Retail Theft Prevention Grant Program, the state awarded the Bakersfield Police Department $6.2 million to specifically prevent and respond to organized retail theft, motor vehicle or motor vehicle accessory theft, and cargo theft. The statewide grant program is the largest single investment to combat organized retail crime in state history. 

“I’m grateful for the Governor’s focused attention on our region. Efforts to improve public safety, address roadway violence, and reduce criminal activity in Bakersfield translate to better health for everyone,” said California Racial Equity Commissioner Traco Matthews. We know that when enhanced law enforcement efforts are coupled with equitable investments in education, workforce development, small business support, housing, and other critical services for communities in need, the results are undeniably positive.”

Coordinated operations have been underway in recent weeks.

HOW WE GOT HERE: Today’s announcement builds on Governor Newsom’s efforts to improve public safety in key parts of California, including Oakland and San Francisco. Since January 2024, the CHP’s Organized Retail Crime Task Force has conducted 185 investigations, leading to 474 arrests and recovering more than 160,000 stolen goods valued at $4.2 million. California has invested $1.1 billion since 2019 to fight crime, help local governments hire more police, and improve public safety. In 2023, as part of California’s Real Public Safety Plan, the Governor announced the largest-ever investment to combat organized retail crime in state history, an annual 310% increase in proactive operations targeting organized retail crime, and special operations across the state to fight crime and improve public safety.