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Mayor’s Column: Fighting a rising tide of crime

WHITTIER – The recent slaying of popular 7-Eleven clerk, Maninder Singh Sahi, has rightly angered local residents. Our heart goes out to the Sahi family, his shocked co-workers and customers on his senseless passing.

Public safety is our number one priority. And our latest statistics show Part I crimes (major crimes, homicide, rape, aggravated assault, etc.) are down by 14%, but these stats don’t account for serial petty theft under $950 due to the leniency of punishment under Proposition 47.

So despite our best efforts at public safety, we have been fighting a rising tide of crime as a result of our state’s early release policies, reduced sentences, redefining felonies to misdemeanors and lax policy on drug use and sales due to AB 109, Proposition 47 and Proposition 57.

This simply cannot continue. We are working new ways of enforcement but we have to keep violent criminals off our streets. We are spending millions of our city budget on law enforcement. But the real big change isn’t going to happen without the voters declaring they have had enough.

When we lost police officer Keith Boyer to a cold-blooded gang member, I joined the Keep California Safe ( effort to revise our weakened criminal statutes and toughen our sentencing standards. And our City Council became very involved. That effort has resulted in a ballot measure that will be on our November ballot. It is an important first step to keeping violent offenders, thieves, and criminals off our streets. But it’s not the last step.

Whittier will be the safest when the rest of the state is safe. This starts with the support of local Measure W for more officers here in Whittier. But our local efforts will only work if we support ballot measures to restore the sentencing, bail and felony definitions that will keep criminals in jail, where they belong.

I hope you will join me in supporting these efforts and please keep in prayer the Sahi family as they grieve. A GoFundMe account has been setup in his name.

Lastly, a friendly reminder to vote whether via Vote-By-Mail or at a voting center. The direction of your city depends on your vote.

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