Earlier this week, the Sacramento City Council voted unanimously to pass a “public safety” resolution, but there is little safety involved. The resolution is intended to officially redefine public safety — Sacramento Police Department, Sacramento Fire Department, and Emergency Medical Teams — to include what the city calls “youth-prevention services” such as arts programs and health food programs, and other “community outreach programs.”
The City Council is funding this by taking millions of dollars from the Sacramento Police Department budget – known as defunding the police. “Mayor Darrell Steinberg has previously said the new 911 system would ultimately result in at least $10 million being diverted from the police department,” the Sacramento Bee reported. The more the City Council whittles away from SacPD funding and resources can only inevitably lead to more of Sacramento becoming a “no-go zone,” as the crime statistics below prove.
The city claims this will help create an alternative plan for “non-emergency responses,” such as mental health issues. But doesn’t the City already fund mental health agencies?
A quick Google search of “City of Sacramento mental health agencies” comes up with:
Additionally, numerous privately run organizations and non-profits are listed in the Google search.
The City’s description of their move says:
The Council City recognizes the important role of preventative programs to create a sense of public safety among residents and communities. Consequently, the City allocates resources to such preventative programs. When considering impacts on our City policies that affect young people, the three departments focused on coordination of prevention services for youth are the Police, Fire, and Youth, Parks and Community Enrichment Departments – often working hand-in-hand.
Without referencing how, the City claims:
Research shows that programs – including but not limited to stable and affordable housing, early childhood supports, quality education, the arts, healthy and accessible food, economic security, and community spaces – can directly prevent youth-related violence, and that prevention activities that uplift children, families and elders will lead to safer and healthier communities overall. Moreover, these types of resources can reduce service calls and requests for police and fire as a result of the preventive and proactive nature of these programs.
And then this government-speak:
By broadening the delivery of public safety resources, the City is adding to its capacity in maintaining public safety through the addition of prevention programs and services for youth. This upstream investment in young people will also result in future savings for the City within the “traditional” public safety services. By adopting an explicit definition, the City’s public safety services will align under a stated understanding of what these services include and a holistic approach to public safety rather than an assumption.
“Broadening the delivery of public safety resources” means taking money from actual public safety – law enforcement – and giving it to dubious “social service” groups and the arts, healthy food organizations and community spaces, when there already are taxpayer-funded mental health services, food programs, and “community spaces.”
A recent Monthly Chiefs Report (below) from Sacramento Police Department found:
2019 (through September): 342
2020 (through September): 409
19.6 % INCREASE
Number of Victims Shot:
2019 (through September): 107
2020 (though September): 142
32.7 % INCREASE
Arrests for Possession of Firearm:
2019 (though September): 414
2020 (through September): 561
35.5 % INCREASEMonthly Chief’s Report – September 2020
I’m sure the City Council receives this monthly report from the Sacramento Police Department. I’m also sure that more mental health services, healthy and accessible food programs, and community spaces would not have prevented the 35.5% increase in arrests for possession of firearms, or the 409 shooting reports, or the 142 victims shot in Sacramento.
The $10 million which looks to be removed from the SacPD and moved to these new programs will likely result in fewer police officers on the IMPACT team, or community policing.
“The IMPACT team provides outreach and engagement services throughout the City of Sacramento,” SacPD says on its website. “They are the city’s initial point of contact with both chronic homeless and inebriates living on the streets. The team engages chronic homeless persons and, for those who are willing, get them in contact with service providers who can provide housing and other services.”
Hot Spots policing, increasing police patrols, and police crackdowns not only deter, but they allow more effective responses to vandalism, break-ins, robberies, drug dealing, prostitution, and other crimes.
The Sacramento City Council appears to be sending out a gigantic virtue signal passing their resolution for new “programs,” rather than supporting the programs which already exist to combat “non-emergency responses,” such as mental health issues. The majority of mental-health issues in Sacramento stem from the homeless population is 3,009 calls for service involving Sacramento homeless population are any measure.