Beat officers say Prop. 47, which reduced jail population by thousands, boosts crime, but chiefs say more data is needed

Something terribly wrong is causing crime rates to spike, and if you voted for Proposition 47, it could be your fault.

It was touted as a method to save money, reduce the prison population, and assistance schools and drug addicts. However numerous street cops say Prop. 47 – a year old this month – is the most dangerous ballot initiative ever passed by California voters.

Since the law went in to effect, Orange County as a whole has actually seen crime spike. Anaheim, for example, reports a 17 percent boost in violent crime. Santa Ana has actually seen a jump of 67 percent in aggravated assaults.

In the globe of law enforcement, just what appear to be basic truths regularly turn out to be a collection of complex events. And police chiefs say they don’t already know enough yet to blame the brand-new law.

What we already know is that Prop. 47 allowed thousands of convicts to go free, yanked the teeth from numerous felony laws by lowering them to misdemeanors and removed officers’ ability to put behind bars hundreds of offenders.

Even drug court judges criticize the change, saying they no longer are able to order as numerous addicts to rehabilitation due to the fact that felonies no longer hang over their heads. Instead, the offenders merely get hold of just what quantities to a ticket and go on their deadly road to destruction.


Examining January-October crime rates year over year for Orange County’s two largest cities, Anaheim and Santa Ana, is alarming. The two have actually populations over 330,000, and even a single percentage point is significant.

In Anaheim, property crime went up 19 percent. The raw numbers reveal that motor automobile thefts increased to 1,211 from 973; aggravated assaults shot up to 525 from 451.

Raul Quezada, Anaheim’s police chief, says it’s also early to point to Prop. 47. However he says calling the ballot initiative the “Safe Neighborhoods and Schools Act” was misleading. At community meetings, he reports, residents say they are frustrated as quickly as officers merely cite drug addicts in local parks.

“just what I’m hearing from my troops,” Quezada says, “is that addicts actually don’t care anymore. In the past, they used to run away. However now they confront the officers.”

Similarly in Santa Ana, police Chief Carlos Rojas reports a 31 percent spike in overall crime. Burglaries are up 26 percent, larcenies and thefts are up 26 percent, robberies are up 18 percent.

Rojas agrees it’s also early to blame Prop. 47. Still, he reports that police officers on the street – everyday – say suspects end up strolling away along with a citation that used to be a felony charge.

“We actually have to drill down on the data,” Rojas says. “One of the intents was to assistance these individuals that aren’t significant criminals. However petty crime speaks directly to quality-of-life issues.”

It appears even the offenders are underserved. Judge Matthew Anderson reports that applications to drug court have actually plummeted.


Sheriff Sandra Hutchens is responsible for safety in considerably of the county and supervises a lot more compared to 800 reserves too as a lot more compared to 4,000 sworn and professional staff. To say she has actually a commanding learning of crime is, well, a lot more compared to a pun.

Hutchens acknowledges the county is seeing just what she calls an uptick in crime. And she allows, “You hear a great deal of discussion out there as quickly as crime rises.”

But she rapidly elaborates: “I haven’t seen an appreciable boost in crime.” And to blame Prop. 47 for the uptick, Hutchens cautions, is also soon. a lot more months of data are called for prior to an analysis can easily be made.

Still, Hutchens faults Prop. 47 for “placing the cart prior to the horse.” She explains that one of the points the initiative guaranteed was assistance for addicts and the mentally ill. However the money, at best, is months away, and few, if any, brand-new programs have actually appeared.

“We’ve got to have actually facilities to put these folks,” the sheriff notes. “We end up taking them to (hospital emergency rooms) due to the fact that we don’t have actually a nonprofit to take them to.”

David Bejarano is a former San Diego police chief, the most recent Chula Vista police chief and president of the California Police Chiefs Association. He agrees along with Hutchens and adds that $100 million was guaranteed to fund drug treatment. He additionally says it will certainly be at least an additional year prior to brand-new programs are in place.

Like Hutchens, Bejarano cautions that the data isn’t finish to analyze why crime in California is increasing. Yet based on anecdotes, he says the majority of peace officers throughout the state blame Prop. 47.

Bejarano ticks off crime trends: in San Francisco, a 40 percent spike in automobile burglaries, a 17 percent boost in automobile thefts, and a twenty percent uptick in robberies; in Los Angeles, a 12 percent overall crime boost and a twenty percent spike in violent crimes.

Although he doesn’t have actually statistics, Bejarano additionally reports that cities throughout the state are seeing improves in assaults versus officers.

Bejarano says the brand-new wave of criminals are re-offenders that are free due to the fact that they get hold of citations for crimes that once were felonies.

He says numerous suspects, for example, already know that if they sustain the value of stolen property under $950, they get hold of just what quantities to a ticket. “This,” he points out, “involves the theft of guns.”


In a rare move, the Santa Ana Police Officers Association and the Association of Orange County Deputy Sheriffs joined forces last week and condemned Prop. 47 for just what they said “given yet an additional felon an opportunity to put police officers and the public in danger.”

What sparked the joint statement was a two-hour helicopter hunt and three-hour standoff Nov. 7 in which police said the suspect fired at officers.

Jimmy Truong “a twice-convicted felon that had his crimes reasonable to misdemeanors as a result of Prop. 47, attempted to murder two Santa Ana police officers,” the statement said. “Despite two felony convictions for drug possession, Truong was never ever placed on parole, probation or post-release supervision. along with no supervision, Truong continued to commit crimes.”

Tom Dominguez, president of the Association of Orange County Deputy Sheriffs, warned, “along with Prop. 47 flooding our communities along with dangerous felons released along with little or no consequences for the crimes they commit, we could not be so lucky next time.”

The statement echoed a stark prediction earlier this year from District Attorney Tony Rackauckas regarding Prop. 47: “Unfortunately, numerous dangerous felons will certainly be let spine in to the community early, and I fear that this law will certainly result in the boost of crime.”

Last week, Rackauckas released Truong’s criminal history. Three years ago, he was convicted of felony drug possession. A year later, the exact same thing. After Prop. 47 went in to effect, those felonies were reasonable to misdemeanors.

In April, Truong was arrested along with a switchblade knife. A few days later, he was arrested, accused of possessing a controlled substance. In June, he was charged along with two counts, The two misdemeanors.

Today, Truong is in jail, charged along with two felony counts of attempted murder on peace officers, two felony counts of assault along with a semiautomatic firearm on peace officers, one felony Matter of being a felon in possession of a firearm and one felony Matter of evading peace officers while driving recklessly.

Truong’s multiple felony charges could mean a optimum sentence of life in prison.

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Court: Huntington Beach can't remove hundreds of low-income units from housing plan

HUNTINGTON BEACH – A Los Angeles Superior Court judge struck down changes Huntington Beach officials made to a housing plan for Beach Boulevard and Edinger Avenue that left the city more than 400 units short of required low-income housing sites.

The Kennedy Commission, a nonprofit advocacy group for affordable housing, filed a lawsuit against the city in July. The group alleged that the City Council’s revisions to the Beach and Edinger Corridor Specific Plan – done after residents complained about high-density development – restricted affordable housing and violated state law.

Last week, Judge James Chalfant sided with the Irvine-based group, voiding the council’s changes and restoring the original development plan.

Chalfant’s order directed the city to “cease enforcing, administering or implementing” the changes to the plan. Chalfant found no fault with the city’s overall housing plan, but ruled that the changes undermine “the objective and policies of the general plan.”

Sarah Gregory, attorney for the Public Law Center, which represented the Kennedy Commission, said the ruling stops the city from being able to drag its heels as it mulls changes to its housing plan, and forces it to work with the state and community.

“The overarching message is you can’t just do it haphazardly or disregard the law because it’s politically convenient,” Gregory said.

Huntington Beach in recent months has been updating its housing plan to restore the lost low-income sites and comply with state law.

City attorney Michael Gates said his office is in the process of updating the City Council on its options, including whether to appeal the ruling and continue its current plan.

When the city adopted the Beach-Edinger plan in 2010, it included up to 783 units for low- and very-low-income housing. After changes in June, the number fell to 123 units. The state required 533.

Criticism of projects in the plan, such as an Elan Huntington Beach complex on Ellis Avenue and Beach, prompted the council to slash more than 2,000 housing units – about half – from the proposal.

Many residents complained about the size and aesthetics of the new complexes, as well as their impacts on traffic, parking and noise.

According to the housing advocates, the changes amounted to a de facto moratorium on affordable housing.

“Affordable housing is once again possible in Huntington Beach,” said Cesar Covarrubias, executive director of the Kennedy Commission.

7-foot great white shark spotted in Huntington Beach

HUNTINGTON Coastline – A 7-foot, juvenile wonderful white shark was spotted Friday early morning swimming from the Huntington claim Coastline to the regional beach, however lifeguards terrified it far from the shoreline.

An Anaheim Police Division helicopter crew was flying over the water quickly prior to 10:fifty a.m. as quickly as they spotted a wonderful white shark in the waters close to Coastline Boulevard Regard the border in between both beaches, claimed Lt. Claude Panis of the Huntington Coastline Lifeguards.

Police authorities informed lifeguards the shark was in between 10 and twenty feet long, prompting a 15-min Coastline closure.

Lifeguards visited the location of the shark sighting Regard a watercraft and discovered a 7-foot wonderful white shark, most likely a juvenile, however the watercraft crew terrified it far from the shoreline, Panis said.

Because the shark was no more as huge as originally suspected, lifeguards downgraded the protection measures and begun over the beach, however saved indicators uploaded Regard the shore alerting Coastline goers to the sighting.

The indicators will certainly remain up one mile north and south of the Huntington Coastline Pier till Weekend morning, Panis said.

The shark owned absolutely no call along with people, and absolutely no immediate threat was suspected.

Contact the writer: 714-796-7802 or

Brad A. Johnson: Great Thai food in Orange County? Here's where to find it

Thai food is one of my favorite things, which is why my quest to find great Thai food in Orange County has been so frustrating. Despite the abundance of Thai restaurants in every neighborhood, authentic cooking is hard to come by.

A lot of people rave about Thai Nakorn, which has two locations, in Garden Grove and Stanton. They make a reputable papaya salad and fantastic barbecued beef. Their menu is actually very interesting, but their horrid service and even more disturbing record of health violations keep me from craving anything from there.

The grilled sausage with chilies at Vientiane Thai Laos is superb, but the sordid history with cockroaches turns my stomach.

I’ve sampled dozens of popular Thai restaurants across the county and keep coming away disappointed. Most are stuck in the mindset that Thai food is restricted to a limited set of generic, Westernized recipes. Serving Thai food is merely a business, not a passion. But my luck turned around when two new restaurants opened in April.

Bangkok Avenue debuted in Huntington Beach, and it is easily the best Thai restaurant in Orange County.

First off, the restaurant is beautiful inside and out, with a great patio, full bar and charming, attentive staff. The restaurant counts several owners with varied backgrounds, one from the family that owns Silk Thai down the street. But make no mistake: This is no Silk Thai. It is younger, fresher and far more relevant.

The menu goes well beyond the copycat roster of pad Thai and tom yum. The kitchen dares to experiment, not to the degree of Night + Market in West Hollywood or Pok Pok in Portland, but it understands that Thai food can’t be defined by a handful of old recipes.

Bangkok Avenue’s several styles of regional Thai sausage are unlike the links served anywhere else. Order the platter that brings all of these together. It’s a stunning presentation, and after only a few bites you’ll realize there is so much more to Thai food than most local Thai restaurants have allowed us to know.

The larb is made with raw tuna. The talay zapp, a seafood stir-fry, is strewn with fresh chilies and clusters of fresh green peppercorns still clinging to their stems. The papaya and spicy beef salads will make you question the integrity of every Thai restaurant at which you’ve eaten those dishes so many times before.

Some of the dishes are still overtly Westernized, like the pad kra pow, which is a spicy stir-fry with basil and chilies. But if you ask for it to be prepared Thai style – finely chopped, the way Thais eat it, instead of large chunks of meat – the staff happily obliges and the result is insanely better than the version on the menu. In fact, it doesn’t hurt to say, “Everything Thai style” when you place your order, just to make sure they’re not dumbing anything down because of your non-Thai appearance.

If you show up in the afternoon, when staff members are changing shifts and enjoying their own lunch in the dining room, take notice of what they’re eating. Most are slurping the kao soi. Kao soi is a red curry soup filled with noodles, both soft and deep-fried, and what they do differently here than anywhere else is stud the soup with braised beef short rib that sops up the curry and melts between your teeth.

Bangkok Avenue serves several types of satay, which are skewers of meat cooked over the grill. The best of these is something listed on the menu as Pork on Skewer. The pork is marinated in honey and cilantro and chilies, and served with sticky rice and grilled vegetables. There’s also a bone-in lamb shank bathed in creamy, nutty, panang-style curry.

The tom yum (traditional lemongrass/galangal soup) is great, but the tom zapp (sour pork soup from northeastern Thailand) is even better.

The pad Thai is good, but compared to everything else on the menu, it ends up being the kitchen’s biggest disappointment. Perhaps Bangkok Avenue holds back because so many people have already fallen in love with the overly Americanized version like this one.

Pad Thai is everywhere, but great pad Thai is rare.

Fun fact: Pad Thai was invented as an entry into a national recipe contest in Thailand in the early 1940s, a period of ultranationalism under a military regime whose commander thought everyone should eat more noodles. He created a contest. The winning dish contained no chicken, beef or pork. It was made with fresh, chewy rice noodles and dried, salted shrimp, roasted peanuts, chili powder, tamarind, palm sugar and a smattering of chives, sprouts and tofu. It was a fascinating mix of salty, sweet, sour, spicy, chewy and crunchy, all in equal balance.

It has come a long way since then. Restaurants and food carts throughout Thailand proudly serve pad Thai. Most adhere closely to the simplicity of the original. Sadly, too many generic Thai restaurants in the United States have lost sight of what made this dish great in the first place. Most are nothing more than sweet, sugary too-soft noodles with fresh shrimp on top.

With the exception of a few restaurants in Los Angeles’ Thai Town, and Night + Market, I’ve not found many versions of pad Thai worth eating. But then I stumbled upon Suthathip, which opened in April in Anaheim Hills. The pad Thai there is exceptional. Ask for it to be prepared “Thai style.” (This should be your rule at any Thai restaurant by now.)

You still have the option of adding chicken or pork or whatever. I don’t have a problem with that. I enjoy mine with chicken. What’s most important is how the noodles squish and squirm between your teeth, how the flavors ricochet across your taste buds.

The first thing you’ll notice is that it’s not sweet. Yes, there’s a strong current of palm sugar, but it’s offset with a shockingly tart blast of tamarind and lime. A big scoop of chili powder and crushed, salted peanuts is already mixed in, not merely served on the side as a garnish to be ignored or forgotten. Sweet, sour, salty, spicy – this is how it’s supposed to taste.

Although the rest of Suthathip’s menu is good, it is fairly typical. But go there for the noodles. It’s the closest thing to true Bangkok-style pad Thai in Orange County, and as good as anything in Thai Town.

Finally, good Thai food has arrived in O.C. We still have a ways to go, but I sincerely hope this is the start of a trend.

Contact the writer: or on Instagram: @bradajohnson

Huntington Beach man identified as driver killed in Stanton collision

STANTON – A 69-year-aged person was established Monday early morning as the driver that perished Saturday in a traffic collision, authorities said. authorities claimed Nguyen went on via the intersection as quickly as a guy in his 30s steering westbound When it come to Cerritos Avenue in white SUV slammed in to the driver’s edge of the vehicle. Nguyen perished at the setting while his other half after that the SUV driver were taken to UCI Health care Focus in Orange along with injuries, yet individuals anticipated to survive. authorities shut neighboring streets when it come to numerous hrs after the collision.

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