Budget cuts to affect different sectors of California’s law enforcement
by Christopher Livingston
As the California budget cuts continue, they have affected departments like education and the post office. Next on the list: law enforcement.
The California Department of Justice reported that out of 52 anti-gang and drug task forces, only 18 will remain. Among the sectors to be eliminated are the Bureau of Narcotic Enforcement and the Bureau of Investigation and Intelligence. 227 arrests have been made this year in these departments, according to Violent Crime Gang Task Force Commander Ken Bambrick. The agencies were also notable for playing a role in the conviction of Scott Peterson, who murdered his pregnant wife in 2002.
In Riverside County, the Sheriff’s Department will take over the void the budget cuts will leave. “The agencies are still all participating in the task forces. Just the supervision of those task forces will become the responsibility of the sheriff’s department,” Chief Deputy Rodney Vigue told KESQ. Statewide, 171 special agents will be laid off due to the budget cuts.
The Controlled Substance Utilization Review and Evaluation System (CURES), a program that puts physicians and law enforcement together to track down people who are misusing prescription drugs, will also be affected by the cut. According to a report issued by the Center for Disease Control and Prescription (CDC), prescription painkiller overdoses are nationally reaching “epidemic levels” — tripling within the past decade alone.
As the planned cuts have been announced, retaliation is imminent. The California State Law Enforcement Association (CSLEA) is working towards a plan to stabilize funding for the agencies and keep the threatened jobs alive.