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Richard Valdemar

Richard Valdemar

Sgt. Richard Valdemar retired from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department after spending most of his 33 years on the job combating gangs.
Gangs

California's Budget Fix: Cut Gang and Drug Fighters

State lawmakers are releasing prisoners and plan $71 million in cuts to drug and gang fighters.

November 07, 2011  |  by Richard Valdemar - Also by this author

Photo: rtilden.
Photo: rtilden.

California faces some of the toughest challenges in its history. The state is behind only Washington D.C. and New York, as a top target for terrorists. California ranks among the highest among states in unemployment and problems involving housing, drugs and gangs. The state is watching the decline of once-great institutions and infrastructure such as bridges, dams, highways, hospitals and the electric grid. The state budget is in constant crisis.

The solution from the governor and state legislature to this crisis involves releasing nearly 40,000 state prisoners while, at the same time, cutting $71 million from the state's drug and gang fighting organizations such as the state Department of Justice's Bureau of Narcotics Enforcement (BNE) and Bureau of Investigation and Intelligence (BII).

In past articles, I've been critical when city and county law enforcement agencies such as my own Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department reduce or do away with its intelligence units. This forces cities and counties to rely heavily on state and federal intelligence sharing. Now, the state plans to gut the BII. This reduces the intelligence finding and sharing sources to federal government agencies. I've worked with these agencies in my 33 years in law enforcement, and the federal agencies seem to be the worst at gathering local intelligence and especially with sharing it.

This is the second stint for Gov. Jerry Brown at the California helm. He also served two terms as "Governor Moonbeam" from 1975 to '83. Back then, he appointed Rose Bird to the California Supreme Court. At the time, I objected to her strong anti-death penalty opinions and her numerous wacky court decisions. In 1986, she became the first Supreme Court judge thrown off the bench by voter recall. Two other California Supreme Court judges also fell.

As the son of former Gov. Edmund "Pat" Brown, Gov. Jerry Brown graduated from the University of California, Berkeley. He earned a law degree from Yale in 1964. He's an old friend of liberals such as "Hanoi" Jane Fonda, Tom Hayden and the Rev. Jesse Jackson. Between his current governorship and his last one, he ran for President in 1976 and 1980, served as mayor of Oakland from 1999 to 2007, and served as state attorney general from 2007 until earlier this year.

Before his recent election as governor, he re-cast himself as a born-again "law and order man." He even made an appearance on Michael Savage's controversial conservative radio show, The Savage Nation. Jerry Brown is really the same old politician.

To be fair, Governator Arnold Schwarzenegger attempted the same $71 million in cuts for the California Department of Justice during his administration. Those cuts were not approved. Some may surmise that Jerry Brown's decision to make these cuts of the DOJ's budget are retaliation for his embarrassment during the election, when someone leaked his mistakenly taped conversation in which a voice could be heard calling his opponent, Meg Whitman, a "political whore." Insiders speculated that it was his wife's voice, but Brown fixed his anger on Alan Barcelona, the president of the California Statewide Law Enforcement Association (CSLEA). The group represents 7,000 members in 180 different state jobs in the Department of Justice.

Tags: Gang Enforcement, Budget Cuts, Tijuana Cartel, Drug Enforcement


Comments (8)

Displaying 1 - 8 of 8

FrankD @ 11/8/2011 7:16 PM

Great move in the wrong direction. Cut the welfare and Illegal funds. Two changes will take place the welfare recipents will move along with the illegals. Plus you get rid of some of the crime. Leave to the land of fruit and nuts. Another first for the state that always take the lead in ridiculous over the top decisions. Jerry Brown strikes again. Jerry retire!

AimFire @ 11/9/2011 6:06 AM

They can take back to California their state prisoners they have transferred to Tennessee correctional facilities as well -- we have enough of our own already. Be happy to send some of them to California as a fair turn about for those of theirs we've already received.

Steve @ 11/9/2011 8:08 AM

How could anyone in a position of control over the state of California even think for one minute to release more criminals back onto the streets and cut funding to law enforcement agencies? This is one moron that needs to be removed from office. Instead of limiting funds for law enforcement, how about stopping all funds to illegals, kick them out of the US, or better still, move them to the state of Alabama and see how a real state deals with illegals - they arrest and deport!

Stop all the madness, back up law enforcement and move forward!

Tom Ret @ 11/9/2011 8:21 AM

Brown is a moron but the people keep electing him. The same time he wants to release inmates and cut gang units he and his liberal friends want the general law abiding citizens unarmed. When will the citizens come to their senses and vote him and the other liberals out of office?

Rick @ 11/9/2011 9:24 AM

Don't forget that ol Jerry made CA safer by banning the open carry of unloaded guns! By continuing to restrict gun rights in CA and letting criminals out, the state government is setting up citizens to die. Old ladies are getting knocked down and having their gold jewelry stolen from their bodies. It's time to get open carry and CCW laws like AZ, TX, VA and FL. I'm a former USCG Tactical Officer and now in the security industry. I am unable to get a CCW license in CA although I have my FL permit that isn't recognized here; I have to use it for traveling out of state.

LegAdv @ 11/9/2011 11:22 AM

I saw the handwriting on the wall 7 years ago and left CA for good then. Articles like this one confirm the fact that I made the right decision.

Linda Taylor @ 11/11/2011 7:02 PM

There is in fact a method to this madness. Numerous Campaign donations made to Attorney General Kamala Harris's campaign are connected to drug legalization advocates. Here's a link to our press release, and there's more coming!

http://stancoinsider.com/stancoinsider_169.htm

Verde @ 11/12/2011 8:46 AM

There is no benefit in reducing enforcement at this point. These agencies seize assets and cash that allow them to operate and allow them to fund equipment for their task forces and allied agencies. They recover more drug money than any other agency, which is used against the cartels and street dealers. Let's just keep stabbing ourselves in the feet. Stepping over dollars to pick up dimes. Who makes these messed up decisions anyway?

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