Bakersfield’s Joint Crime-Fighting Effort With CHP Yields 470 Arrests Since March

Bakersfield’s Joint Crime-Fighting Effort With CHP Yields 470 Arrests Since March

A Bakersfield police vehicle makes patrols in Bakersfield, Kern County, Calif., on Nov. 17, 2017. (Frederic J. Brown/AFP via Getty Images)

Rudy Blalock
Rudy Blalock

6/6/2024

Updated: 6/6/2024

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Joint operations by Bakersfield police and the California Highway Patrol (CHP) have now resulted in 470 arrests and 244 vehicles recovered since March, according to a recent announcement by Gov. Gavin Newsom.
“Week after week we continue to see positive results from our partnership with local law enforcement in the Bakersfield area. Our ultimate goal is to take down criminal activity and make Bakersfield’s streets safer,” Mr. Newsom said in a June 4 press release.
From April to May, arrests were up 56 percent, recovered vehicles rose 24 percent, and recovered firearms rose 33 percent, said the press release.
In May, officials announced the joint operations had also conducted a one-day traffic enforcement effort that resulted in 230 citations issued—mostly for speeding—nine vehicles impounded, nine stolen vehicles recovered, and three felony arrests.
The effort has focused on vehicle theft and organized crime in Kern County—where Bakersfield is located—which officials say is experiencing higher reported rates of violent crime, property crime, and arrest rates than the statewide average.
“The success of the ongoing operation in Bakersfield is a testament to the power of collaboration between our two law enforcement agencies and the support of our community partners,” said CHP Commissioner Sean Duryee in the same press release. “Working together, we can make significant strides in improving public safety and reducing crime in the community.”
In 2023, Bakersfield was also awarded $6.2 million specifically to combat organized retail theft, motor vehicle, and cargo theft, as part of California’s Real Public Safety Plan.
Statewide efforts have also resulted in increased arrests, with more than three times the usual “proactive operations” toward organized retail crime performed so far since January 2024, according to the recent press release.
The result comes thanks to the state’s Organized Retail Theft Prevention Grant program, which provided $240 million to city and county police departments statewide to fight increasing crime. Thanks to the grant, CHP’s Organized Retail Crime Task Force has, since January, conducted 185 investigations, arrested 474 individuals, and recovered more than 160,000 stolen goods worth $4.2 million, according to officials.
Last month, Mr. Newsom also announced a 10-point action plan to beautify Bakersfield and Kern County with assistance from California’s Department of Transportation. The multi-point plan outlines steps the state is taking with local partners to increase litter collection, clear roadway encampments, update aging equipment, and clean up the overall roadway system, according to a May 21 press release by the governor.
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Rudy Blalock is a Southern California-based daily news reporter for The Epoch Times. Originally from Michigan, he moved to California in 2017, and the sunshine and ocean have kept him here since. In his free time, he may be found underwater scuba diving, on top of a mountain hiking or snowboarding—or at home meditating, which helps fuel his active lifestyle.

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