Reporting Jon Baird
LA PUENTE (CBS) — The mayor of La Puente said Thursday that a federal mandate to cut the inmate population in California prisons is to blame for a sharp jump in crimes in the city.
KNX 1070′s Jon Baird reports now La Puente is spending $50,000 to beef up its police presence.
According to Mayor John Solis, sexual assaults are up about 300 percent and assaults with guns and knives up nearly 150 percent citywide since the realignment plan took effect a few months ago.
Under the realignment plan, many non-violent offenders end up in the county system instead of state prison and then get released early because of overcrowding.
Solis believes that makes the perpetrators even bolder.
“I think more crimes are being committed because, ‘Go in for a year, I’ll be out in a week, I’ll take my chances, it’s worth it’,” he said.
In addition to regular patrols by Los Angeles County Sheriff’s deputies, the city will set up a task force to deal with the crime surge that will work 7 days a week for the next 3 months “to curb these crimes and pick these people up”.
The city recently offered a $10,000 reward for any information leading to the arrest of a man suspected of sexually assaulting a 14-year-old girl at a La Puente apartment complex.