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California Sheriffs Issue Statement on Today’s Retail Theft Bill Hearings

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                                                                          Contact: Carmen Green, Executive Director

June 11, 2024                                                                                                                                                      press@calsheriffs.org



Statement on Today’s Retail Theft Bill Hearings


Later today, the Assembly and Senate Committees on Public Safety are expected to advance legislation regarding the significant theft crisis California faces. Some of these bills will be adopted as proposed to be amended, or with the understanding that at some point soon language will be added to these bills that repeals them if a pending Proposition 47 reform initiative ultimately qualifies for the November 2024 election and is approved by voters. The California State Sheriffs’ Association (CSSA) supports the initiative, which is likely to qualify and be placed on the ballot in the coming days, as well as the policies contained in some of these legislative bills being considered today, but we strongly object to the addition of these amendments and the one-or-the-other choice that the language attempts to create.


CSSA’s paramount objective is the protection of our communities and public safety. This is not about indiscriminate mass incarceration, but rather focused efforts that get at the heart of the problem that has gotten out of control since the passage of Proposition 47. There are meaningful policy changes that can be made that will help make our counties safer while holding criminals accountable, especially those who repeatedly victimize our communities. Many of those policies are contained in the pending ballot measure while some of the proposed bills address other positive changes. There is simply no reason to pit these complementary efforts against each other. The likely outcome of doing so will be continued prolific criminal activity and an ongoing lack of proper tools to keep those we represent safe. We urge the Legislature to reject these amendments and reinvigorate a collaborative effort to effectively fight crime and avoid further victimization.


We stand ready to continue work with the Legislature, Governor, and all stakeholders to address the rampant theft problem, while remaining mindful we must do more to protect victims and get offenders the help they need to reduce recidivism.