Local law enforcement are looking at using a nearly $123,000 grant to combat a spike in burglaries and property crimes by purchasing software that would allow officers and deputies in different parts of Humboldt County to share information about criminal activity and wanted suspects.
Since the rollout of Gov. Jerry Brown's prison realignment plan in 2011, jail officials have been shouldering the responsibility of holding serious criminals for longer periods of time instead of sending them to state prison. With fewer beds available, a larger number of offenders have been released from jail and into programs like post-release supervision.
”Property crime has gone up 32 percent, burglaries inside buildings are up 119 percent, vehicle burglaries are up 20 percent, and auto theft is up 61 percent -- these are shocking numbers,” Arcata Police Chief Tom Chapman said.
Officials will begin to evaluate the feasibility of using data-sharing software to store all police activity and expand access to information by different jurisdictions, Chapman said.
”We all, essentially, are on our own records and management system. If the sheriff is investigating a series of thefts happening outside the city, we wouldn't know about it,” Chapman said. “There is certainly some communication, but not enough. With data sharing, we can connect dots we weren't able to before.”
No grant in the world is going to help you when criminals know nothing is going to happen to them. Your car burgled? You're mailed a form to fill out. Say the drug dealer gets busted, endures a couple days in jail and he's back out - they know, no one is going to do anything. Cops know, there's no point in even busting 'em, and, in many cases, in even arresting them.
Crime stats come up during the elections, and reporters have allowed Gallegos to skate on his responsibility. Now it's worse, because the craven legislators are looking to brush off state responsibilities.
It's past the point of being fixable. Grants make nice press, but it's the least efficient use of money, pennies on the dollar after it passes through the state middlemen. What a tragedy.