As vandals in Berkeley, CA, spray paint “The only good cop is a dead cop” on nearly every blank wall and business in the city, its city council members have confusingly decided they like the idea. In a city already ridden with crime, to them, the graffiti is brightening up the landscape.
The council voted affirmatively on a police reform bill which will cut the department’s budget by a horrific 50%. But it gets even better. How would you like to drag race a souped-up Corvette with expired tags straight down Main Street without fear of being stopped by the Johnny law?
Gentleman, start your engines. Go for it. In fact, do whatever you’re little heart desires. The police will have absolutely no authority to issue traffic tickets, and all we can say is, “Lord have mercy!”
By trimming the department’s budget in half, in a city already well-known for its lawlessness, every criminal in town, of which there are many, are dancing on the rooftops in celebration. Berkeley is now their oyster. They have found their Utopia.
According to the East Bay Times, “Among the changes expected to take effect in the coming months, police will stop issuing traffic citations and hand those duties to unarmed city workers. Officers also will cease responding to calls involving homeless outreach or people having mental health episodes, though it’s unclear who will.”
As long as they are going to allow lawlessness to run rampant, why not kick the homeless and the mentally impaired to the curb at the same time? To them, this somehow makes perfect sense. Of course, they have no plan concerning who will reach out to these people in distress, but the general consensus says the answer is, nobody.
What the council failed to realize is how a great portion of the cities revenue is a direct result of tourism. With Berkeley’s close proximity to San Francisco, which annually draws in visitors numbering in the millions, many of these out-of-towners take advantage of the fact by adding Berkeley to their list of places to see.
Berkeley 9-1-1 calls are regular occurrences, even sometimes overwhelming the emergency phone line operators. Up until now, these operators have done a terrific job of getting the proper units to respond to the calls. They’ve received extensive training in these areas, as one would expect.
But now, as a result of the councils’ mind-baffling decision, these same emergency operators, and the savers of lives in many cases, may as well stay home. They no longer have any earthly idea who to dispatch, and in a majority of cases, there is nobody. “Sorry about you luck sir/ma’am, you’re on your own.” Click…
Berkeley city council members, instead of reducing crime for the sake of its law-abiding citizens, agreed the cops are just to darn brutal. They are also under the assumption that minorities are all too frequently targeted by law enforcement.
Bear in mind, Berkeley’s crime rate is one of the highest in the nation with a ration of 57 crimes per 1000 residents. While this may not appear to be an abnormally large number, one out of 17 people are subject to becoming a victim of violent or property crime. Now how does it sound to you?
These are the crime rates prior to the passage of the bill, and one can only imagine what they will very soon reflect. In the words of the city’s Mayor, Jess Arreguin, “For far too long, public safety has been equated with more police.”
The bills’ passage is a result of demands made by Black Lives Matter. The city also has a large population of law obeying residents who heretofore have relied on police protection to keep them and their families safe and comfortable in their homes. But. They had no say in this matter. They weren’t even asked for their input.
If you’re planning a trip to San Francisco’s Fisherman’s Wharf any time soon, make sure your car has a full tank before passing through Berkeley. If you have to stop there, it could very well be the last stop you’ll ever make. Heed the warning.