The California Contract Cities Association (CCCA) is taking a bold stand against the rising tide of retail theft plaguing local communities.

Committed to fostering safer neighbourhoods and shielding businesses from harm, the CCCA is actively engaging in the pursuit of policy solutions.

Its proactive stance is now evident as it seeks participation in discussions led by the California Assembly’s Select Committee on Retail Theft.

CCCA legislative chair, John Erickson, reveals startling figures: California law enforcement has made more than 1,250 arrests linked to retail theft since 2019, with recovered stolen goods valued at a staggering $30.7m.

In Los Angeles alone, organised retail theft sprees have resulted in losses exceeding $750,000.

Recognising the immense impact, Erickson emphasises the need for public policy solutions to deter illegal activities in communities.

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Statewide response and advocacy

California authorities are allocating $267m through the governor’s Real Public Safety Plan to bolster law enforcement capabilities and combat organised retail theft.

The funds aim to enhance patrols, acquire surveillance equipment, and bring perpetrators to justice.

CCCA president, Jennifer Perez, advocates for a collaborative approach, emphasising the importance of policy initiatives that directly reduce retail thefts and actively investigate criminals.

The association supports a comprehensive effort involving retailers, law enforcement, and policymakers.

Formation of select committee marks turning point

The CCCA commends the establishment of the Select Committee on Retail Theft, scheduled to convene throughout the 2024 legislative session.

This initiative aims to engage stakeholders and formulate policy solutions to address the crisis.

Assembly member Rick Chavez Zbur, chair of the Select Committee, stresses the urgency of the situation, citing safety risks to workers and customers, growing retail losses, and store closures.

The committee aims to bring together experts from all perspectives to identify and implement effective solutions through data analysis and research.

A unified front for safer retail environments

By working collaboratively with the State Legislature, the CCCA seeks to advocate for robust policy solutions.

Representing more than 80 cities in California, the association aims to create a safer retail landscape and foster a secure environment throughout the state.

Through education, advocacy, networking, and legislative access, the CCCA continues its mission to protect and enhance the quality of life for more than 7.5 million residents.