I’m weary of news reports about criminals who prey on our citizens.  I’m tired of having to console constituents who are the victims of theft, assault, and other crimes. We can’t wait for someone else to fix the problem – we need to act.

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Our Sheriff and Deputies are doing heroic work and continue to have my support and appreciation.  But they’re hamstrung by state politicians who care more about activists and criminals than the victims of crime.

As County Supervisor, I am proud to be part of a collaborative effort with District Attorney Thien Ho and Sheriff Jim Cooper in addressing the challenges of crime and lawlessness in our community. But I must admit that there are limits to what can be done at the local level. State actions to promote the extremist “decarceration” and “defund police” ideologies are tying the hands of local law enforcement and giving criminals the green light to prey on our businesses and families.

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This isn’t a theory – we’ve witnessed the consequences of policies like Proposition 47, exemplified by the sideshow and smash-and-grab incidents at a business in Rio Linda. Small businesses, which are crucial to our economy, are enduring devastating losses due to crime. In some cases, these losses are so severe that businesses have had to shut down. In a recent community survey, nearly 25% of respondents reported falling victim to various crimes, including catalytic converter thefts, car break-ins, burglary, and assault. The urgency to act is clear!

The core of the problem lies in a system that removes accountability for criminal behavior. Felonies have been downgraded to misdemeanors, emboldening individuals to commit theft and other crimes without significant repercussions. Businesses are prohibited from defending their premises effectively and are burdened with additional costs for security and employee training. Despite numerous attempts to reform Proposition 47, these efforts have been consistently blocked by politicians in Legislature.

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If the Legislature is unable to take action to keep our families and businesses safe, we need citizens to change the law.

The “Homelessness, Drug Addiction, and Theft Reduction Act” will be gathering signatures to make the changes in the law that the Legislature is unable or unwilling to make. This measure will increase penalties for theft, provide resources to tackle root causes of homelessness, and crack down on drug dealers who are poisoning our neighborhoods.

Key components of this measure include:

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• Increase Drug and Mental Health Treatment to tackle the root cause of homelessness.

• Enhanced Penalties for Armed Drug Possession to get violent drug dealers off the street.

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• Increasing penalties for trafficking hard drugs and allowing judges to sentence drug dealers to state prison.

• Make drug dealers subject to murder charges if their activities lead to deaths.

• Mandated treatment for repeat drug offenders.

• Increasing penalties for repeat offenders and smash-and-grab gangs.

This Act will help us tackle the root causes of addiction and homelessness, which not only improves the security of our communities but also creates opportunities for individuals struggling with these issues to successfully reintegrate into society.

It also sends a firm message to drug dealers: trafficking hard drugs, particularly when armed or causing harm or death, will result in severe consequences. The Act advocates for the use of state prisons over local jails for such offenders, ensuring a secure environment while also providing a chance for rehabilitation. This dual approach reflects our commitment to both public safety and the potential for positive change.

The “Homelessness, Drug Addiction, and Theft Reduction Act” represents a significant stride towards reinforcing safety and justice within our community. By addressing the loophole that allows repeat offenders to exploit the current felony theft threshold and introducing measures such as the aggregation of stolen property values and heightened penalties for organized thefts, we’re poised to deter and punish these crimes more effectively. This comprehensive approach not only rectifies the flaws in our current system but also emphasizes the protection and well-being of law-abiding citizens and businesses.

Thank you for Reading – and as always if you want to contact me, call me at 916-874-5491, or e-mail me at SupervisorFrost@saccounty.gov. Sacramento County Supervisor Sue Frost represents the 4th District, which includes the communities of Citrus Heights, Folsom, Orangevale, Antelope, North Highlands, Rio Linda, Elverta, and Rancho Murieta.

Sue Frost
Author: Sue Frost