Calif. Mayor Arreguin, who cut $10M from cops, now wants to fight crime

Calif. Mayor Arreguin, who cut M from cops, now wants to fight crime


The woke mayor of Berkeley, Calif., who axed $10 million from the liberal bastion’s cop budget in 2020, has made an abrupt about-face and now wants to lead the charge against an alarming spike in crime.

“In Berkeley, my colleagues and I defunded $9,251,458 from the Berkeley Police Department, or 12% of the agency’s annual operating budget,” Jesse Arreguin wrote in a July 2020 San Francisco Chronicle column.

The cuts came amid cresting anti-police sentiment across the country in the wake of George Floyd’s violent death at the hands of law enforcement.

Berkeley Mayor Jesse Arreguin launched an initiative to tackle rising crime. San Francisco Chronicle via Getty Images

“It awakened America’s collective consciousness to the systemic racism that pervades our society, from education and housing to employment, and of course, policing,” he wrote at the time.

But faced with rising crime and growing public exasperation, Arreguin has positioned himself as a proactive proponent of law and order.

Arreguin held a press conference this week to announce the formation of a regional task force to address growing lawlessness in beset East Bay cities.

“We have to work together across city and county lines to enhance public safety for the entire East Bay,” Arreguín said in a prepared statement, according to the Berkeley Scanner. 

“This partnership will enable greater coordination and regional strategies that prevent and deter crime, and hold these individuals accountable.”

Officials praised Arreguin’s initiative, asserting that greater coordination between local agencies could help stanch law-breaking.

A thief stole 75 items from a Berkeley Apple Store that’s become a favorite target. @bustdowncorn/LOCAL NEWS X /TMX

But some local merchants scoffed at the shift in posture, highlighting that Berkeley’s police ranks have thinned drastically in recent years and crime has predictably mushroomed because of it.

“Little late now, isn’t it?” said one downtown Berkeley merchant. “You bash cops, cut funds, and now you want to address it? It’s hilarious. This area was not like this five years ago. The business owners have had it.”

Entire blocks of the city’s once-thriving downtown are shuttered, with “For Lease” signs dominating and largely being ignored.

“You see it all, every day,” the merchant said. “Homeless, violence, people s—ing in the street. It’s the norm now.”


Just last week, an unhinged man randomly fired gunshots in the air just outside a classical music performance on the UC Berkeley campus. Video showed frightened students scampering inside a campus building as shots rang out.

The city’s lone Apple Store on chic 4th Street has been routinely raided by thieves in broad daylight.

Crooks have hit the location seven times this year alone, according to the outlet.

A man fired shots outside a classical music concert in Berkeley last weekend. Berkeley UCPD

High-profile crimes — including carjackings, sex attacks and armed robberies — are also plaguing UC Berkeley and its environs.

A group of parents have given up seeking relief through official channels and are raising money privately to establish a private security force.

According to the Scanner, the Berkeley Police Department had roughly 130 active officers as of September — down from prior highs of 200, a decrease of 35%.

While funding has had an impact on hires, applications for the department have also shriveled in recent years, making vacancies increasingly difficult to fill.

Arreguin, who was first elected mayor in 2016, is planning a run for California state Senate.

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Written by Politixia


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