DHS crime sweep sparks concerns over prison realignment

Seventeen arrests were made in a crime sweep in Desert Hot Springs that targeted parolees and gang members.  The coordinated "Operation Nemesis" used more than 100 law enforcement officers from the DHS Police Department, California Highway Patrol, Border Patrol, and the Riverside County Sheriff's Department among other agencies, visited and/or searched nearly 50 residences.  "It's good to feel that the streets are being picked up and they're safe," said Louie Fuentes, a Desert Hot Springs resident.  "Good for us."

Desert Hot Springs police said most of the 17 arrests were made on felony charges.  Though it gave some residents peace of mind, some still worry.  "It's a good thing it happened," said Cathy Davidson, a Desert Hot Springs resident.  "Do I actually feel safer in this town, because I've lived here for so many years? No." 

Mayor Yvonne Parks says the root of some of the crime problem can be traced to decisions made in Sacramento paired with low-housing costs in the city.  "We do have a parolee population," said Parks.  "It's AB 109, it's the release of those we can't keep track of." 

Governor Jerry Brown's AB 109 hands over the supervision of non-serious, non-sexual, non-violent felons to the county level to ease state prison overcrowding.  The realignment left many county jails so full, low-level inmates were released to be rehabilitated as parolees.  "If it's just a misdemeanor or whatever, they go in," said Parks.  "They come out, because there's no place at the end. " 

While Parks understands the challenges the city faces, she says sweeps like Operation Nemesis show safety is the priority.  "One criminal off the street at a time and hopefully we'll have that Eden that everyone wants," said Parks. 

comments powered by Disqus

Photo Galleries

  • On this day: October 26
    Tilla/Wikimedia Commons

    On this day: October 26

    The Erie Canal opens, the Pony Express closes, Wyatt Earp shoots it out in Tombstone, and the Patriot Act is signed into law, all on this day.

    Read More »
  • States with most and least powerful voters
    iStock / bns124

    States with most and least powerful voters

    With the presidential election rapidly approaching, WalletHub has released its list of the states with the most and least powerful voters. Click through to see where your state ranks.

    Read More »
  • Changes since last Cubs' World Series
    Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

    Changes since last Cubs' World Series

    The Chicago Cubs are back in the World Series for the first time since 1945. See how times have changed over the past 71 years.

    Read More »
  • The many looks of Katy Perry
    Jason Merritt/Getty Images

    The many looks of Katy Perry

    Pop singer Katy Perry has made a big impact on the music scene in the few years she has been around. In celebration of her 32nd birthday on Tuesday, join us for a look at her career so far.

    Read More »
  • On this day: October 25
    Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

    On this day: October 25

    Pablo Picasso is born, the first domestic microwave oven goes on sale, Led Zeppelin debuts in concert, the U.S. invades Grenada, and Bill Buckner blows it for the Red Sox, all on this day.

    Read More »