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Apr 30, 2024

Protecting the Central Valley: Results Show Initial Success in CHP’s Operations to Take Down Crime

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Builds on the Administration’s Efforts in Other Parts of the State to Keep Communities Safe

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW: Governor Newsom’s newly announced enforcement effort in Bakersfield produces initial results in stopping crime and improving public safety – with 211 arrests and 127 stolen vehicles recovered in the area in recent weeks.

BAKERSFIELD — After Governor Gavin Newsom announced a regional enforcement effort between the California Highway Patrol (CHP) and the Bakersfield Police Department to address crime, initial 6-week results show meaningful progress in the area.

A graphic with a blue background and white and yellow words that says: To date: Stolen Vehicles Recovered: 127 Total Arrests (Felony, Misdemeanor): 211 Vehicles Stored or Impounded: 277 Firearms Seized: 4

We are working proactively to keep Californians safe in the Central Valley. In partnership with local law enforcement, the state will continue to step up to take down criminals and make Bakersfield safer for everyone.

Governor Gavin Newsom

WHY IT MATTERS:

The work in the area includes day-to-day enforcement and comprehensive operations. Most recently, the Bakersfield Police Department and the CHP conducted a one-day traffic enforcement/crime suppression effort, which included a total of 230 issued citations (127 for speed, five for seatbelt, 13 for cell phone, 35 for commercial violations, and 48 for mechanical violations), 14 verbal warnings, nine vehicles impounded, nine stolen vehicles recovered, and three felony arrests.

“I am pleased with the initial results of this partnership, which speak to the fruitful relationship we have between local and state partners to keep Bakersfield families safe,” said Bakersfield Mayor Karen Goh.

“By working together and creating a strong partnership, like the one between the California Highway Patrol and Bakersfield Police Department, we can enhance public safety by effectively combating threats to the community,” said CHP Commissioner Sean Duryee.

In support of personnel from the Bakersfield Police Department, the CHP has deployed officers from the local area offices and investigators from the CHP’s Central Division.

Kern County has higher rates of violent crime, property crime, and arrest rates (felony and misdemeanor) compared to the statewide average. The collaboration between the Bakersfield Police Department and the CHP is reducing criminal activity in the region, with a focus on vehicle theft and organized crime.

This localized work in Bakersfield is part of a larger effort to bring continued resources to the area. In particular, through the Organized Retail Theft Prevention Grant Program, the state awarded the Bakersfield Police Department $6.2 million to 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.

Building on the Newsom Administration’s efforts to improve public safety in key parts of California, including Oakland and San Francisco, the state continues to make significant steps to ensure the safety of local communities. Through the CHP’s Organized Retail Crime Task Force, since January 2024, the state has conducted 185 investigations, leading to 474 arrests and recovering more than 160,000 stolen goods valued at $4.2 million.

HOW WE GOT HERE:

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.