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Opinion: Growdon Joins Sheriffs Statewide to Oppose Prop 47

Monday, October 27th, 2014

opinionprop47by Dean F. Growdon
Lassen County Sheriff – Coroner

Lassen County Citizens,

I have joined with the other 57 California Sheriff’s in opposition of Proposition 47.

Despite being referred to as the “Safe Neighborhoods and Schools Act” this measure will make our schools and neighborhoods less safe. Many crimes that impact our communities will be reduced from felonies to misdemeanors, and nearly 10,000 felony offenders will be eligible for early release or re-sentencing to our local county jails.

It is important that crimes including firearms theft, identity theft, possession of “date rape” drugs and possession of dangerous drugs including methamphetamine, cocaine, and heroin continue to carry the potential of a felony conviction. Without the ability to arrest, prosecute, or sentence these crimes as felonies, offenders can commit these crimes time after time and never face more serious consequences for their criminal conduct.

Commercial burglaries (burglaries of our local businesses) have been an ongoing issue and cause great harm to the business owners who are helping to develop our local economy. If Proposition 47 passes, commercial burglary will be classified as a straight misdemeanor and these offenders can declare open season on our local businesses.

Our Judges and Prosecutors need the discretion to choose the appropriate level of disposition for these crimes. Proposition 47 would take that discretion away and limit their ability to see that justice is served for the community and the victims of crime.

Law enforcement officers have broader authority when investigating and making arrests for felonies. If Proposition 47 passes, law enforcement officers will be limited in their ability to make arrests for violations. Offenders will see no immediate consequence for their actions and they will remain free to continue victimizing our good citizens.

Please help us get the word out that Proposition 47 is bad for our community, and encourage your friends and family to vote “No” on Proposition 47.

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