Mike Terry | Garcia for Public Safety

SCV Voices: Guest Commentary
SCV Voices: Guest Commentary

The rule of law is the foundation of all good police work. However, lately state Democrats and anti-law enforcement groups in Sacramento are pushing through legislation designed to alter the very integrity of police work and the concept of public safety as we know it. This is why it’s vitally important to support pro-police candidates like Mike Garcia. 

As a pro-law enforcement candidate, Mike Garcia knows the Democrats’ anti-police positions lead to higher crime rates and lower public safety. 

Let’s look at a few of their recent propositions. 

In 2011, Assembly Bill 109 allowed felons in California to only partially complete their state-mandated sentences in county jails instead of state prisons. AB 109 made crimes such as commercial burglary, forgery, corporal injury of a child, aggravated evading police and possession of marijuana for sale punishable by a county jail sentence or supervised probation instead of serving time in state prison. 

Thanks to Democrats, AB109 increased county jail populations and released many more criminals into our communities under the already taxed probation system.  

In 2014, Proposition 47 succeeded in converting many felonies to seemingly innocuous misdemeanors. According to proponents, the proposition would change many nonviolent offenses, such as drug and property offenses, from felonies to misdemeanors. These offenses included shoplifting, writing bad checks, and drug possession. 

Prop. 47 also eliminated the penalty enhancements that came with committing multiple thefts. Before Prop. 47, repeat offenders could be charged as felons, thus, in effect, this proposition removed the deterrence factor of the law. 

Now, criminals are no longer held accountable or deterred from committing multiple crimes under the threat of harsher sentences. 

Thanks to the Democrats, the result of Prop. 47 has been a reduction of the prison population — meaning more criminals are on our streets — and an increase in retail theft (some by up to 50%), larceny and organized retail theft. 

Next, in 2016, the California Democratic Party helped push for Prop. 57, which allowed repeat offenders to be sentenced as if they were first-time offenders for sentencing purposes. Once again, criminals are no longer being held accountable for more than one crime. 

Prop. 57 also decreed juvenile offenders who committed murder could not be charged as adults, which effectively removes the deterrence factor of juveniles facing harsher sentencing for their crimes. 

Thanks to Democrats and Prop. 57, more potentially dangerous criminals have been released on our streets due to improper classification of crimes as non-violent or first-time offenders. 

We need only look at the impact of these propositions and others on California’s crime rates and quality of life to know what a disaster they have been for public safety. 

In truth, those of us in law enforcement see their effects every day. 

Meanwhile, Democrats are now attacking the ability of law enforcement officers to defend themselves while making lawful arrests — especially when the suspect resists. 

Officers and deputies should not have to worry about being sued with unwarranted lawsuits for simply doing their jobs according to established law and department policies — especially as the “defund the police” movement seeks to remove implied immunity.  

If the common tools and safeguards — including implied immunity — are removed from day-to-day law enforcement activity and the officer or deputy must constantly be in fear of losing his job, his house, or being criminally prosecuted for enforcing the law within department policy, why would any officer risk being proactive or enthusiastically enforce the rule of law? 

The inevitable effects of these attacks will certainly be decreased morale, plummeting of quality policing, and a reduction of a qualified applicant pool for those who might consider law enforcement as a career. 

It’s clear Democrats promote more crime and less safety for our families. Candidates like Christy Smith are too afraid to publicly support our law enforcement officers and deputies and are more concerned with promoting left-wing ideology and anti-police social justice rhetoric. 

Mike Garcia proudly and publicly supports law enforcement and the rule of law. This is why I support Mike Garcia for Congress and you should, too. 

 Sgt. Mike Terry is a retired 30-year veteran of Southern California law enforcement. He has dedicated his time and his career to law enforcement for nearly 45 years. He believes in proactive policing in order to reduce serious future crimes in our communities. He now spends the majority of his time educating the public about law enforcement.

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