Salas legislation boosting Neighborhood Cops passes committee

By The Leader Staff
Assemblyman Rudy Salas
Assemblyman Rudy Salas

Assemblymember Rudy Salas, the representative for Lemoore and much of the San Joaquin South Valley, said he was happy with the bipartisan passage of Assembly Bill (AB) 2062, providing $50 million in grant funds to help hire peace officers who agree to live and work in local, underserved communities that experience high rates of violent crime.

AB 2062 passed through the Assembly Committee on Public Safety with unanimous bipartisan support.

“I am pleased that AB 2062 passed with such overwhelming support,” said Salas. “This innovative bill will tackle crime by creating positive relations between peace officers and the public. Having officers serve and live in our communities is how we create safer neighborhoods and stronger relationships between the public and our law enforcement.”

In 15 of California’s largest counties, violent crime has increased, particularly in areas where it is difficult to attract and hire qualified law enforcement officers. According to a report from the Public Policy Institute of California, crime rates have disproportionately affected certain regions and counties like Kern County. In major cities, as well as the San Joaquin Valley, troubling crime trends show that homicides have increased by about 17 percent in 2021.

Studies show that community-oriented policing builds contact with the public and should be prioritized as a strategy to help establish trust and reduce crime on a neighborhood level.

AB 2062 will aid in resolving police staffing issues and the state’s increase in crime by providing voluntary incentivizes for the recruitment and retention of officers. Additionally, by allowing officers to live in the communities that they serve, if they choose, the program will be encouraging the use of community policing. This unique solution is supported by studies that show community-oriented policing improves public safety and increases officers’ social connection to the communities they serve.

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