By Staff Reports
(Victorville)—Citing a perceived shift in California towards criminals rights versus victims’ rights, the High Desert Association of Realtors is continuing its efforts to encourage High Desert residents to take steps to improve their personal safety and security. “Criminals are being held accountable for their actions less and less, so law-abiding citizens need to take steps to be more secure,” said Diane Smith, Executive Officer at the High Desert Association of Realtors. Smith indicated a number of changes the past few years the Association finds concerning:
- Proposition 47, passed in November 2014, reduced penalties for some non-serious, non-sexual and non-violent crimes including simple drug possession and petty theft, from low-level felonies to misdemeanors. Repeat offenders go on offending knowing there are few consequences. It creates a dilemma for law enforcement who has to decide whether to cite suspects or spend a few hours booking them when these people are likely going to be released right away and do the same thing again.
- Even if a suspect is arrested, according to a Press-Enterprise article this past June (http://www.pe.com/articles/counties-805693-judges-committee.html) San Bernardino County has fallen behind in the number of judges needed to adequately serve a larger population. A court system report found that San Bernardino County has 86 judges but needs 143.
- Proposition 57 on the November ballot would allow for early paroles for legally defined nonviolent prisoners in exchange for certain achievements and good behavior.
- Assembly Bill 109, signed by Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. in 2011 to enable California to close the revolving door of low-level inmates cycling in and out of state prisons. “For too long, the state’s prison system has been a revolving door for lower-level offenders and parole violators who are released within months—often before they are even transferred out of a reception center. Cycling these offenders through state prisons wastes money, aggravates crowded conditions, thwarts rehabilitation, and impedes local law enforcement supervision.” – Governor Edmund G. Brown, Jr., Governor’s Press Release, April 5, 2011.
In response to these changes HDAOR adopted an initiative in January 2015 to work with local Crime Prevention Officers to encourage residents to take steps to reduce their risks of becoming a crime victim. “People can learn steps to feel more secure—to BE more safe and secure—if they attend upcoming training sponsored by the High Desert Association of Realtors in cooperation with the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department,” said Smith.
On Wednesday, August 24 Victorville Police will host a one-hour session at 3 p.m. and one at 6 p.m. at City Hall and provide information and resources to start and maintain a healthy Neighborhood Watch program. THE MEETING IS OPEN TO ALL HIGH DESERT RESIDENTS. For more information contact the High Desert Association of Realtors at http://www.vvar.com/?start=3 or (760) 244-8841.
High Desert Association of REALTORS® original charter was May 22, 1948. June 1, 2014 the Victor Valley and Barstow Association of REALTORS® merged forming the new High Desert Association of REALTORS®. Throughout its history, the High Desert Association of REALTORS® has always strived especially hard to support the needs of the High Desert communities it serves. The HDAR sponsors several fundraising events each year, with the money raised from these events contributed to scholarships and several local charity organizations.