Efforts to defund the police and a police reform “trifecta from hell” are combining to create a “downright ugly” crime wave, according to Los Angeles Sheriff Alex Villanueva on Newsmax.
“They’ve been pushing this progressive reform agenda, which amounts to basically notifying the legislative intent, and then all this talk about de-carceration or re-imagining [policing] – one of their favorite terms – that means, you know, hide the kids and hold on to your wallet, because that’s what re-imagining public safety looks like,” Villanueva told co-hosts Jenn Pellegrino and Mercedes Schlapp on Wednesday.
“We’re seeing it realized in real time, and it is downright ugly. We need to turn the clock back a little bit to sensible reform measures that we can all agree with and proceed cautiously, step by step, not a wholesale, ‘Hey, let’s just get away with all the rules and see what happens.'”
The crime wave in Villanueva’s jurisdiction has seen a 92% increase in homicides from pre-pandemic over two years and a 44.39% increase in the past year alone, including a 60% increase in grand theft auto, he told Newsmax.
“So you can see that there’s major crime indicators that are moving massively; yet my board of supervisors won’t even admit that there’s a problem – as it continued trying to defund our department,” Villanueva said.
Villanueva blasted “legislative efforts to decarcerate, to basically empty out the prisons, kick out the problems down to the county jails; then, the board of supervisors starving our ability to house crooks in the county jail.”
“That is one part of it,” he added. “Then you have a district attorney who is refusing to prosecute crime.”
Villanueva told Newsmax there are over 12,000 cases in Gascón’s first year in office where he “has refused to prosecute things that we have handled: arrested the bad guy, got all the evidence presented.”
“They said, no, we don’t want to, because it’s not according to our special orders, within the Gascón special orders,” Villanueva said, adding the “zero bail” is demoralizing policing.
“That one is killing us because that means their crooks get out, and the cops are still writing the report and the guy’s already on the street again committing another crime.”
Villanueva has been in the news for challenging a vaccine mandate on his police officers, but he said he has already lost 1,281 employees due to defunding the police budget cuts from his board.
While he reports his jurisdiction is now in 98% compliance on the vaccine mandate, he still stands to lose over 1,600 employees with more than 28 years of service if they decided “they don’t like the climate of the working conditions.”
“That would be just devastating because we would be hard pressed to actually [field] 911 calls for service, get the radio cars out there and operate the jails 24-7,” he concluded.
“This is basic public safety 101 stuff, but still the board of supervisor’s doubling down in refusing knowledge that made a grave error.”