Don Bessee: The wrong conversation
We all have been observing the many forums, articles and editorials in this run up to the vote.
We hear many themes across all the races: homeless, homeless, homeless, dead chickens, homeless, homeless. We also have the usual litany of accusations of all wild sorts. Then you have the many narrow interest groups and, of course, the individuals who have axes to grind.
What is lost in all of this is what should be one of the highest priorities for all our elected officials and the highest priority in our law enforcement races and that is the victims.
In the last four years in Nevada County there were 4,000 law enforcement referrals for prosecution. That number does not reflect the actual number of crime victims but represents the ones our thin blue line thought met the stringent standards for prosecution. Of those 3,500 were prosecuted.
I would submit that that is only the cream at the top of the bucket of crime that the cities and neighborhoods must deal with.
We have all heard about the crazy prison releases and suddenly pretending that stealing a gun is a nothing crime. Say what? Then you have the massive machine that is all about the criminals that you pay for.
While the ideas of diversion of certain populations to some kind of treatment sounds good in theory, the reality we experience here is that the same old same old keep doing it over and over and over. Those who don’t want to comply with societal norms learn to game the system to the detriment of neighborhoods and victims.
They act like they think if they only do this or only do that, the man may mess with me but I ain’t gonna have any real-world penalty. Hey, hey! They are right.
So of the cases that referred for prosecution each year, that number is only the tip of the iceberg as far as how many victims experience crime and are impacted in the real world.
When someone’s wife, husband, son, daughter is the victim it is not just that individual who is impacted by that crime. The whole home feels violated. It is also the entire extended family that feels the pain. Grandpa and Grandma have a layer of stress they do not need.
If you live in some areas, or near some parks, you feel like there is an army of locust hovering around your home. It’s the criminal and drug-dealing element that hides in the homeless/trimmigrant and transient population.
You all know someone who has been victimized. It is time we put their needs ahead of the people who are gaming the system.
While there is a lot of rhetoric that is really just guilt trips as reasons to throw more money at the homeless issue the reality is ignored. This year’s snapshot in time is reported to have identified about 275 homeless people.
Last year, the county reported that over $13 million was expended on homeless issues. With what has happened since then the number this year has to be around $13,500,000. Yet, we still have people wanting to throw another million or so at the problem with no specific reason for it. That is just virtue signaling at the homeowner’s expense.
We need to get back to the real point and that is: the job of our law enforcement advocates is not to be apologetic social workers, but to protect your family from the predatory criminal class.
We all know that the courthouse is not a friend of victims. It is notorious for its failure to provide legally required victims protections and ensure due process where domestic violence victims are concerned. Research the whistleblower.
We are being inundated with a false narrative driven by the same people who brought you all the judges who don’t protect you and empower the revolving door for criminals at the courthouse.
If you have ever had anyone in your friends and family circle who has been impacted by crime, you need consider some things when it comes to the two jobs that are our only protection from the money and power of the defense attorneys, judges and the apologists for the criminals.
If you see a candidate for Sheriff or District Attorney who has the criminal defense attorneys and public defenders on their campaigns as their loudest advocates, ask yourself this: Do the interest of those folks in any way align with the victims’ interests and their rights? The answer is no.
Don Bessee is the executive director of Smart Approaches to Marijuana of Northern California and a resident of Nevada County.
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