California has to reduce its prison population and has chosen to redirect about 30,000 prisoners to local control.
Virtually everyone in the law enforcement field knows that this will increase crime rates, as this article in the Los Angeles Times notes.
“The Los Angeles Police Department will remove 150 officers from patrol and other assignments to deal with the fallout from a state-mandated plan to reduce prison overcrowding, a move that Police Chief Charlie Beck said will slow response times to 911 calls.
“Beck and Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa joined forces Monday to criticize the state's attempt to relieve severe prison overcrowding, saying it has unfairly saddled the LAPD with a burden that the department does not have the resources to address. They warned that it poses a risk to public safety and threatens to reverse the falling crime rates Los Angeles has experienced in the last decade.
“The plan, which went into effect Saturday, shifts responsibility for thousands of inmates and ex-convicts from state to county agencies.
“As part of that change, the LAPD and other local police departments will have to assume a leading role alongside the county's probation officers in keeping tabs on an escalating number of ex-convicts who otherwise would have been under the watch of the state's parole department or behind bars, Beck said. By year's end, the LAPD is expected to be tracking 4,200 people, according to figures released by the mayor's office.
“Unlike the state's parole officers, county probation staff are not typically armed nor are they adequately trained to deal with potentially violent ex-inmates, Beck said. As a result, Beck said, LAPD officers will need to take on much of the workload — for example, making house calls to check on whether the newly arrived offenders and parolees are in compliance with the terms of their release.
“Beck declined to speculate on how much longer it would take officers to respond to emergency calls. To minimize the effect, Beck said he would try to place officers who are on desk jobs or in specialized assignments back into the field.
“That could prove difficult, however, because Beck has already made several rounds of such moves and the number of officers available is limited. The LAPD has about 9,900 officers
“Beck speculated that the increased number of ex-convicts walking city streets could lead to about 3,000 more serious crimes committed — about a 3% rise. The city has experienced a long and steady decline in all categories of crime over the last decade.”