During his remarks to the Antioch City Council Thursday night, Antioch Police Chief Allan Cantando stated he wished Proposition 47 would have failed.
Thursday, Chief Cantando reported that for the third three-quarters of 2014 (Jan-Sept), Part 1 Crime was down 1.3% while Violent Crime is down 9.8% with an increase of arrests by 10%. But he issued a warning for the upcoming quarter and going forward.
He prepared the council for next quarters report highlighting that crime statistics will likely show an increase in crime not only in Antioch, but across the state.
“Proposition 47, this is one of those propositions that I wish would have failed. For the public who is not aware of it, this is really going to change law enforcement not just in Antioch, but throughout the State,” said Cantando. “What it does is amend multiple felonies and wobblers and renders it straight to a straight misdemeanor. There is a caveat if the offender has prior convictions but still it definitely changes the people we are able to send to county jail and ultimately end up in state prison.”
He stated he believed the Proposition was marketed in a way that confused voters by claiming it was supported by law enforcement professionals.
“It was a certain group of law enforcement, but it wasn’t the California Chiefs who were supporting it and the ad was difficult for the public to understand which is why it won by approximately 2/3.” explained Cantando.
He highlighted how Proposition 47 changes the shoplifting, if it’s under $950 is now a misdemeanor where shoplifting with intent (which is technically a burglary) was a felony and we were sending people to county jail for that.
The measure requires misdemeanor sentencing instead of felony for the following crimes:
- Shoplifting, where the value of property stolen does not exceed $950
- Grand theft, where the value of the stolen property does not exceed $950
- Receiving stolen property, where the value of the property does not exceed $950
- Forgery, where the value of forged check, bond or bill does not exceed $950
- Fraud, where the value of the fraudulent check, draft or order does not exceed $950
- Writing a bad check, where the value of the check does not exceed $950
- Personal use of most illegal drugs
“So when we are stopping individuals and they have a certain amount of drugs on them that we believe would be for sales, if there is not a way for us to prove it’s for sales, such as scales or packaging, it’s going to be difficult to get those individuals into jail,” said Cantando.
He noted they could still make the arrest but because county jail is going to be overwhelmed with these, they will be released back into the community.
“So next quarter when I am presenting, I am not going to be surprised at all if our numbers are changing drastically for the worse where a crime is going to be increasing which is very similar to AB 109 where our property crime, which you saw on my slide, those are also supposedly the non-violent, non-serious, non-sexual individuals that are out in our community. But that was only based on their last offense,” said Cantando. “If they had violent offense prior to that and their last offense was a property crime, that is what they were released on. So the system is not perfect. Law enforcement is going to be really struggling to get these individuals into the system if they are doing wrongdoing but the voters voted it and we are going to enforce the law as its written.”
For more on Proposition 47, click here.