Earlier this week I received the following instant message: “I’m hoping you might consider sending an email to the County Board of Supervisors regarding NOT DEFUNDING our Law Enforcement agencies!
“I have a friend in the DA’s office who has told me that they ARE DISCUSSING Defunding. Apparently there are many calls & emails coming in from mostly Davis who are expressing their desire to DEFUND!!!!!!!!”
The city of Davis recently discussed the issue of defunding—but aside from perhaps looking at ways to transfer existing services from the police to other entities, it seems unlikely that the city of Davis would defund the police.
The county seems even less likely to do so.
But that is not stopping the Yolo County DA—using their official seal—from rallying the troops.
The DA is warning people, “Reducing funding to public safety will have disastrous effects on the citizens of our county!”
They note: “Without appropriate funding we will lose the ability to prosecute misdemeanor crimes” like battery, theft, abuse and vandalism. Or to “offer diversionary programs that assist people in cycling out of the criminal justice system.”
They write, “They need to know that we want to continue to keep our communities safe, protect victims of crime, hold the guilty accountable, and provide diversionary programs that offer resources to the mentally ill and/or those addicted to drugs.”
But as we noted earlier this week, look at the amount of funding that the sheriff and DA get as opposed to the public defender and child support services.
As one emailer noted, “Based on figures provided by the County Administrator’s Office in the FY 20-21 budget… the county has minimal ability to cut Victim Services or the Neighborhood Court diversion program.”
They continue: “This budget information is important context to understand claims being spread by District Attorney’s Office employees on social media. These programs are mostly funded by state and federal grants, not county-controlled general funds.”
Further, “The misdemeanor offenses that they cite as potentially losing the ability to prosecute (aside from abuse charges) are all eligible for diversion programs, so it’ not like they are losing the ability to process these cases with a potential reduction in DDA positions which are by far the largest budget item that the county contributes general funds to support ($9,123,979 in the recommended budget).”
Finally, “All $1,140,097 of budgeted expenses on Victim Assistance are covered by external revenues. 87.9% of the Neighborhood Court program’s dedicated staffing is funded by the Justice Assistance Grant for at least the next two years.”
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