Newsom Increases CHP Officers To ‘Inhibit Retail Crime’ During Holidays

(L) A California Highway Patrol officer checks the identifications of residents. (Photo by DAVID MCNEW/AFP via Getty Images) / (R) California Governor Gavin Newsom speaks. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

OAN’s Brooke Mallory
4:54 PM – Monday, November 27, 2023

A recent mandate from Democrat California Governor Gavin Newsom directed the California Highway Patrol (CHP) to better support countermeasures against a rise in retail crime during the Christmas season.


As part of his “Real Public Safety Plan,” Newsom (D-Calif.) stated that the CHP’s Organized Retail Crime Task Force and a “stronger law enforcement presence” will be stationed in “key retail districts” across the state.

The governor stressed that anyone who steals merchandise from retailers this holiday season must be apprehended immediately and put in jail, which came as a surprise since Newsom is known to be much softer on crime than other governors across the U.S.

The press statement also comes after consistent criticism from California residents and business owners, who argue that the enforcement of retail crime has become obsolete in recent years.

Many California employees at major shopping malls and clothing stores claim that they have been instructed by their superiors to not stop criminals from committing acts of thievery for fear of lawsuits, among other legal issues.

“When criminals run out of stores with stolen goods, they need to be arrested and escorted directly into jail cells. Leveraging hundreds of millions of dollars in law enforcement investments, the California Highway Patrol—working with allied agencies—is increasing enforcement efforts and conducting and supporting covert and confidential takedowns to stop these criminals in their tracks during the holiday season and year-round,” Newsom said.

Newsom promised $267 million in grants to 55 towns and counties around California in September. This was the state’s largest-ever commitment in the battle against retail crime.

In regions like Southern California, the Bay Area, the San Joaquin Valley, and Sacramento with high rates of retail crime, the CHP and its task force will now reportedly be much more apparent. They will collaborate with local law enforcement, loss prevention, and other departments.

“The men and women of the California Highway Patrol are working around the clock to keep shoppers, merchants, and retail districts safe this holiday season—and year-round,” CHP Commissioner Sean Duryee said in a press release.

“Much of our task force’s success can be attributed to the strong working relationships we have with our law enforcement partners throughout the state and the rapport we have cultivated with the retail industry. Working together with our partners and utilizing the CHP’s extensive statewide resources, we are cracking down and stopping unacceptable criminal activity,” he continued.

The National Retail Federation’s 2023 report lists three major California cities in the top 10 cities in the country most impacted by organized retail crime. First place went to Los Angeles, followed by San Francisco and Oakland. Seventh place went to Sacramento.

In order to combat organized retail crime, L.A. Mayor Karen Bass also stated that the Los Angeles Police Department and other regional law enforcement agencies will establish a new task force.

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