San Bernardino Crime Wave: We Are Not Alone
San Bernardino has witnessed a dramatic increase in its murder rate. As of the writing of this column, the city has had 22 homicides so far this year. The San Bernardino Police Department is still reeling from staff reductions caused by city government mismanagement, the ongoing bankruptcy, poor budget priority choices, and a wave of departures of more experienced officers due to retirements and better, safer opportunities elsewhere.
It’s so bad that the Police Department doesn’t even bother to respond to property crimes anymore and residents are stuck with filing a police report over the phone.
While the reasons for San Bernardino’s high crime rates are rather obvious such as high rates of residents on public assistance, a large gambling casino, and a disproportionate number of illegal aliens, San Bernardino is not alone.
Crime rates are up significantly across the board in California. In 2014, crime in the state had reached a fifty year low. Then voters were asked by Governor Jerry Brown to pass Proposition 47, a measure to reduce numerous felonies under state law to misdemeanors and literally release over 10,000 criminals back onto our streets (a large proportion obviously coming to San Bernardino.)
According to the Public Policy Institute of California, FBI crime statistics show the results of this measure within just one year.
“Violent crime rates went up in 24 of the 41 states included in the FBI data, and property crime increased in 14 states. However, the property crime rate for the included US cities with populations of 100,000 or more decreased by 29.6 per 100,000 residents, while the property crime rate for the California cities increased by 116.9. The increase in property crime in California cities stands in sharp contrast to the other four states with the highest populations: large cities in Texas, New York, Florida, and Illinois saw decreases of between 111.1 (Texas) and 47.7 (New York) property crimes per 100,000 residents.”
So San Bernardino shouldn’t feel so alone.
But this does go to prove that lawmakers in California make a habit of returning to failed policies of the past. Laws like Three-Strikes, mandatory sentencing, and other public safety measures worked in reducing crime across the board, even as California’s poverty rate was increasing. Even San Bernardino, with the highest poverty rate in the nation watched its crime rate decline.
Now with fewer cops on the street, thousands of career criminals released into our neighborhoods, and reduced criminal penalties that will return our justice system back into the revolving door it was 30 years ago, can anyone really be surprised?
Residents of San Bernardino seem to be. In coordination with the left-leaning Inland Congregations United for Change, a group funded by organized labor, a number of local religious leaders have created a “new” organization called “Common Ground for Peace.” They are sponsoring prayer walks to stop the violence and want grant funding for their collaborative program.
But wait, hasn’t San Bernardino tried that? What happened to Operation Phoenix? It’s déjà vu in San Bernardino, again.
There are solutions to our crime problem. They are actually very simple. Lock up career criminals before they can harm others. Put more police on the streets. Enforce the death penalty and use it. Close our borders and deport illegal aliens that make up 37% of federally sentenced criminals. Have an overcrowding problem in our prisons? Build more.
Our elected officials were put in office, in part, to keep us safe. It’s time for them to do their jobs.