Public Safety Community Applauds the Rejection SB 443

The public safety community in California is pleased with the defeat yesterday of Senate Bill 443 by Senator Holly Mitchell, a bill that would have impeded the ability of law enforcement agencies to go after drug kingpins. In response to the defeat of SB 443, Marc Debbaudt, President of the Association of Deputy District Attorneys, issued the following statement:

“The legislation would have denied every law enforcement agency in California direct receipt of any forfeited assets. California’s asset forfeiture law would have been changed for the worse and this dangerous piece of legislation would have crippled the ability of law enforcement to forfeit assets from drug dealers, especially now, when current laws make arrest and incarceration an incomplete strategy for combating drug trafficking. Narcotics investigations are costly, and the California asset forfeiture law’s dedication of forfeiture proceeds to the seizing law enforcement agencies supplements their serious resource needs when they pursue drug traffickers and their ill gotten gains. SB 443 would have undermined one of the most important tools used to combat complex transnational criminal enterprises.

“After the passage of Proposition 47 and Criminal Justice Realignment, incarceration is NOT a deterrent to narcotics trafficking. To drug dealers, custody time is looked at as a minimal “cost of doing business.” If drug assets are still available to dealers upon release, they go back to the business of selling narcotics. In more sophisticated operations, the drug dealer facing time in custody is merely a foot soldier for the bigger fish to whom the assets actually belong. Passage of the bill would have caused a severe public safety threat – it would have been a license to expand for drug cartels and narcotics trafficking on all levels, endangering our communities and schools.

“I am pleased to see the unified effort of public safety labor and management groups throughout the state who came together to defeat this dangerous bill. Public Safety advocates representing the Association Of Deputy District Attorneys; Association For Los Angeles Deputy Sheriffs; California Association Of Code Enforcement Officers; California College & University Police Chiefs Association; California Narcotic Officers Association; Los Angeles Police Protective League; Riverside Sheriffs’ Association, Cal. Chiefs, and many other groups worked tirelessly to educate elected officials regarding this dangerous piece of legislation.”

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The Association of Deputy District Attorneys (ADDA) is the collective bargaining agent and represents nearly 1,000 Deputy District Attorneys who work for the County of Los Angeles.

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