Oakland Misses Deadlines for Public Safety Grants Worth Millions, Los Angeles DA Doesn’t Apply

Oakland Misses Deadlines for Public Safety Grants Worth Millions, Los Angeles DA Doesn’t Apply

Looters rob a Target store as protesters face off against police in Oakland, Calif., on May 30, 2020. (Josh Edelson/AFP via Getty Images)

Travis Gillmore

Travis Gillmore

9/15/2023

Updated: 12/30/2023

While 55 cities and counties are in line for grants totaling $267 million that would help fund law enforcement agencies’ and district attorneys’ efforts to stop organized retail theft, Oakland failed to submit its application on time, and Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón did not apply, according to a spokesperson for the agency responsible for overseeing the Organized Retail Theft grant program.
“Our deadlines are well publicized and ensure a level playing field for all applicants,” Tracie Cone, deputy communications director for the Board of State and Community Corrections, said in an email to The Epoch Times Sept. 15.
Oakland was eliminated from the process because they failed to submit their proposal by the July 7 deadline. The city claimed there were technical issues that prevented them from applying on time, though an internal review by the state board’s legal counsel found that “the City of Oakland did not meet the necessary requirements for a successful application submission and will therefore, not be eligible for funding consideration,” according to a statement from the attorneys provided to The Epoch Times.
Requests for comment from Oakland officials were not returned on deadline.
Other cities in Alameda County—where Oakland is located—successfully applied for grants, including Fremont—where the police department will receive more than $2 million—and Newark—receiving nearly $1 million to fund police efforts.
With more than a quarter billion dollars spread across California, the state agency overseeing the program said it believes all areas will be impacted positively by the distributions, even those that did not receive any.
“The [board’s] efforts benefit all communities, including those that don’t directly receive funds,” Ms. Cone said. “Public safety doesn’t end at city lines—public safety requires partnership, it’s a regional effort. If one community gets resources, that creates positive ripple effects for safety for all Californians—at the local, county, and state levels.”
A woman holds a sarcastic sign as locals concerned about public safety issues gather outside of a "Community Safety" meeting attended by local government and law enforcement officials, at the Genesis Worship Center in East Oakland, Calif., on Sept. 9, 2023. (Courtesy of Loretta Breuning)

A woman holds a sarcastic sign as locals concerned about public safety issues gather outside of a "Community Safety" meeting attended by local government and law enforcement officials, at the Genesis Worship Center in East Oakland, Calif., on Sept. 9, 2023. (Courtesy of Loretta Breuning)

District attorneys were eligible for grants exceeding $2 million through the program, and 13 offices are slated to receive funding, including Alameda County.
Absent is Los Angeles County, with the office choosing not to submit an application, though the reasoning is unclear.
Phone calls and email requests for comment from Mr. Gascón’s office were not returned.
The Los Angeles Police Department and the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department will each receive more than $15 million.
Established in 2022, the grant program is designed to fund efforts to address growing retail theft problems across the state, with allocation distributions beginning Oct. 1.
As the program is on a three-year cycle, those that did not receive funding can reapply in 2026 if the program is funded again by the Legislature.
The grants follow through on Mr. Newsom’s public safety plan unveiled in December 2021 to address criminal activity on the streets.
“Enough with these brazen smash-and-grabs. With an unprecedented $267 million investment, Californians will soon see more takedowns, more police, more arrests, and more felony prosecutions,” Mr. Newsom said in a press release Sept. 14 announcing the funding. “When shameless criminals walk out of stores with stolen goods, they’ll walk straight into jail cells.”
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Travis Gillmore

Travis Gillmore

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Travis Gillmore is an avid reader and journalism connoisseur based in California covering finance, politics, the State Capitol, and breaking news for The Epoch Times.

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