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Lock Dawson, Gonzalez meets with the governor

Riverside Mayor Patricia Lock Dawson and Police Chief Larry Gonzalez met with Gov. Gavin Newsom Wednesday at a roundtable and press conference.

The event, attended by mayors and police chiefs from California’s 13 largest cities, was a discussion on how to address crime and reduce organized theft statewide, according to a statement.

“Police departments from across the state have first-hand knowledge of the increases in crime and mental health needs in our respective communities,” Gonzalez said in the statement. “Directly sharing information we have on these topics with the Governor and other state leaders is critical to finding comprehensive solutions.”

During the conference, Newsom signed into law AB 331, which reauthorizes and extends the California Highway Patrol’s Organized Retail Crime Taskforce until Jan. 1, 2026. Since it began two years ago, that group has conducted close to 700 investigations, prompting 252 arrests and the recovery of tens of millions of dollars in property, according to the statement.

“In Riverside, we share this sense of urgency when it comes to addressing mental and behavioral health shortfalls and how these health needs can be an underlying cause to criminal activity, especially when mental healthcare services are not available,” Lock Dawson said in the statement.

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