Numerous surveys indicate crime remains one of the top issues for voters as the country approaches the midterm elections. A closely related concern is soft-on-crime policies, with large percentages of respondents agreeing that such policies do nothing to improve public safety.
California County Shows Serious Problem with “$0 Cash” Bail
Yolo County in California evaluated the impact of a “$0 cash” bail rule and discovered that more than 70% of offenders released under that program were later rearrested, with a shocking 29% being rearrested for a crime of violence.
In April 2020, the California Judicial Council imposed a “statewide Emergency Bail Schedule” during the state of emergency during the COVID-19 pandemic. This mandatory directive ended cash bail requirements for most offenses, with the default being “bail for all misdemeanor and felony offenses must be set at $0.” Individual counties had the option of continuing to follow the rule after it was rescinded in June 2020.
According to Yolo County District Attorney Jeff Reisig, the county decided to follow the rule until May 31, 2021, with the district attorney’s office “tracking the individuals released … and rearrested within Yolo County” between April 2020 and May 2021.
Analysis found seven out of 10 individuals benefitting from the $0 bail rule reoffended after being released: “Of the 595 individuals released, 420 were rearrested (70.6%) and 123 (20% of the overall number or 29% of those rearrested) were arrested for a crime
Regarding the time between release and subsequent arrest: “five people … were arrested again on the same day as release, 14 people arrested within one day, 46 people arrested within one week, [and] 104 people [were] arrested within 30 days.”
Commenting on the results, DA Reisig concluded, “When over 70% of the people released under mandated $0 bail policies go on to commit additional crime(s), including violent offenses such as robbery and murder, there is simply no rational public-safety-related basis to continue such a practice post-pandemic, especially in light of the increasing violent crime rates across California.”
Chicago Can’t Respond to 911 Calls
After violent unrest and looting in 2020 that Chicago mayor Lori Lightfoot admitted had “spread like wildfire” throughout parts of Chicago, the mayor, nonetheless, urged Chicagoans not to “take matters into [their] own hands” in the concealed-carry state. “Do not pick up arms and try to be the police,” she continued. “If there’s a problem, call 911. We will respond.”
Chicago residents, it seems, have little reason to believe her.
Residents who called 911 for police help last year were reportedly left waiting in more than half of “high priority” (Priority Level 1 and 2) calls. Priority Level 1 calls, the most urgent, include incidents where there is “an imminent threat to life, bodily injury, or major property damage/loss,” while Priority Level 2 are those where “timely police action…has the potential to affect the outcome of an incident.”
Analysts using data obtained from the Chicago Police Department found that “in 2021 there were 406,829 incidents of high-priority emergency service calls for which there were no police available to respond. That was 52% of the 788,000 high-priority 911 service calls dispatched in 2021.” The calls involved serious crimes like in-progress assaults or batteries, persons shot or stabbed, robberies, domestic violence, and violations of court protective orders.
According to the source, while the overall number of 911 calls remained roughly the same between 2019 and 2021, the amount of dispatched calls that had to be backlogged for a response—“radio assignments pending” or RAP calls—skyrocketed, “from 5,077 in 2019 to 11,721 in 2021, up more than 130%.” Significantly, a RAP is “a range of time in which no dispatchable resources are available in the [police] District/dispatch group” as a whole, rather than a single unresponsive contact after a dispatched call.
Although the researchers were unable to obtain information on the average duration of a RAP backlog, an audio recording the article includes features a dispatcher for the 11th Police District reeling off a list of 36 incidents with apparently hours-long response delays.
One factor to consider is a drop in police officer staffing. According to one source, hundreds of sworn police personnel in Chicago have left the force each year since 2019, resulting in personnel levels at “a new low not seen in more than half a century.”
With police understaffed and otherwise unable to respond to countless 911 calls, it is not unreasonable for law-abiding Chicagoans to consider exercising their Second Amendment rights as an option to defend themselves against violent criminals.
If America hopes to restore our standing as a nation of law and order—which includes ending the assault on the Second Amendment that stands as a firewall against diminishing our right to self-defense when law and order breaks down—we must do everything we can to ensure pro-freedom candidates are elected to office on Nov. 8!