Ovitt Outlook
In This Issue...
January 2008
safe Neighborhoods ACT

Click the following link to view Supervisor Ovitt's Video:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3xQ_gEba7GI Gangs are a growing public safety concern for California communities. Vicious gang members unmercilessly end thousands of precious lives every year causing immeasurable grief for families and friends.

Law enforcement is pushed financially to the brink combating these local terrorists, who tend to have far more money to commit their crimes than police forces have to fight them.

It is time to turn this dangerous trend around and take back our neighborhoods and bring safety to our streets. There is one way to do this: Provide sustainable funding for our law enforcement agencies. We owe it to our citizens and we owe it to the brave police who put their lives on the line to protect us all.

The Safe Neighborhoods Act, a comprehensive gang and street crime initiative that I am authoring with Sen. George Runner and Mike Reynolds, the father of Three Strikes, redirects taxpayers' dollars back into local law enforcement coffers by including funds for intervention and rehabilitation.

You will hear me talking about this initiative throughout 2008 because I believe that public safety is government's number one priority.

One element of this law that should put law enforcement on equal footing with the criminals is the DISARM program, which is designed to allow local law enforcement agencies to focus on their highest risk probationers and ensure compliance with their conditions of probation.

Targeted enforcement sweeps with local police, deputy sheriffs, probation officers and others ensure that these high risk gang members and violent felons on probation are staying free of drug involvement, are not consorting with felons, and are not in possession of firearms.

These searches, a condition of probation, are a very effective means of keeping drugs and guns out of the hands of street thugs who are the most dangerous threats to our communities.

Local law enforcement has great flexibility in how their share of the DISARM money gets prioritized locally, within the broad parameters of the program.

Local DISARM teams will be comprised of the sheriff, at least one police chief from a city within each county, the district attorney, and the chief probation officer.

High-risk probationers are defined to include probationers with at least one conviction of an assault with a deadly weapon, attempted murder, homicide, robbery, or criminal street gang violations.

The DISARM program is just one of many smart provisions in the Safe Neighborhoods Act that will truly give law enforcement sustainable funding and thus the tools it needs to meet the challenges of combating street crime in the 21st century.

Safe Neighborhoods Act

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