T Nation

Bankrupt San Bernardino

A glimpse of what it looks like when a city goes bankrupt…

Five months after San Bernardino filed for bankruptcy â?? the third California city to seek Chapter 9 protections in 2012 â?? residents here are confronting a transformed and more perilous city.

After violent crime had dropped steadily for years, the homicide rate shot up more than 50 percent in 2012 as a shrinking police force struggled to keep order in a city long troubled by street gangs that have migrated from Los Angeles, 60 miles to the west.

â??Lock your doors and load your guns,â?? the city attorney, James F. Penman, said he routinely told worried residents asking how they can protect themselves.

This is one of the prices that cities often pay for falling into bankruptcy: the police force is cut, crime skyrockets and residents are left trying to ensure their own safety.

A little over a year ago, this cityâ??s falling crime rate was a success story. An aggressive gang intervention effort helped cut the homicide rate by nearly half since the 2005 peak, and in 2011 the program was held up by the National League of Cities as a model for other cities to follow.

But nearly all that progress was erased last year as San Bernardino collapsed under the weight of the same forces that have hit cities all over California and threaten to plunge still more of them into insolvency: high foreclosure rates that eroded the cityâ??s tax revenue, stubborn unemployment, and pension obligations that the city could no longer afford.

Stockton, Calif., which filed for bankruptcy in June, has followed a similarly grim path into insolvency, logging more homicides last year than ever before. In Vallejo, Calif., which filed for bankruptcy in 2008, cuts left the police force a third smaller, and the city became a hub for prostitution.

In San Bernardino, dozens of officers have been laid off since the bankruptcy filing, leaving the police force with 264 officers, down from 350 in 2009. Those who remain call in sick more often, said the police chief, Robert Handy. Emergency response times are up. Nonemergency calls often get no response.

At the same time, as part of a plan to reduce the state prison population, nearly 4,000 criminals who would once have been sent to state prison have been put in the custody of San Bernardino County law enforcement authorities. Some have been released, putting more low-level criminals back on the streets of San Bernardino, Chief Hardy said, and adding to the challenges already faced by the police.

â??All of our crime is up, and the city has a very high crime rate per capita anyway,â?? Chief Handy said. â??I canâ??t police the city with much less than this. Weâ??re dangerously close as it is.â??

As lawyers wrangle in court over San Bernardinoâ??s plan to cut $26 million from its budget and defer some of its pension payments, city officials say there is little more they can do to turn back the rising tide of violence.

Mayor Patrick J. Morris said he was even looking into eliminating the Police Department entirely, and relying on the county Sheriffâ??s Department for law enforcement, which could save money. Many other city services, he said, have already been cut â??almost into nonexistence.â??

â??The parks department is shredded, the libraries similarly,â?? Mr. Morris said. â??My office is down to nobody. Iâ??ve got literally no one left.â?? (Mr. Morrisâ??s son now serves as a volunteer chief of staff for the mayorâ??s office.)

With the city unable to provide, residents have begun to take more responsibility. Volunteers help with park maintenance, work at the city animal shelter and, in some cases, even replace broken streetlights.

Neighborhood watch groups have also grown in number in the last year, as they did in Vallejo and Stockton after those cities filed for bankruptcy. There are now more than 100 groups and counting, up from 76 last year. Chief Handy said the groups would play a â??huge partâ?? in fighting crime, especially given the cut to the police.

In less affluent parts of the city, though, community groups have had less influence. On the West Side, traditionally a gang-controlled area, one resident, Elisa Cortez, said that almost all the neighbors on her block had recently moved in, and that she did not know them.

[quote]MaximusB wrote:
A glimpse of what it looks like when a city goes bankrupt…

Five months after San Bernardino filed for bankruptcy â?? the third California city to seek Chapter 9 protections in 2012 â?? residents here are confronting a transformed and more perilous city.

After violent crime had dropped steadily for years, the homicide rate shot up more than 50 percent in 2012 as a shrinking police force struggled to keep order in a city long troubled by street gangs that have migrated from Los Angeles, 60 miles to the west.

â??Lock your doors and load your guns,â?? the city attorney, James F. Penman, said he routinely told worried residents asking how they can protect themselves.

This is one of the prices that cities often pay for falling into bankruptcy: the police force is cut, crime skyrockets and residents are left trying to ensure their own safety.

A little over a year ago, this cityâ??s falling crime rate was a success story. An aggressive gang intervention effort helped cut the homicide rate by nearly half since the 2005 peak, and in 2011 the program was held up by the National League of Cities as a model for other cities to follow.

But nearly all that progress was erased last year as San Bernardino collapsed under the weight of the same forces that have hit cities all over California and threaten to plunge still more of them into insolvency: high foreclosure rates that eroded the cityâ??s tax revenue, stubborn unemployment, and pension obligations that the city could no longer afford.

Stockton, Calif., which filed for bankruptcy in June, has followed a similarly grim path into insolvency, logging more homicides last year than ever before. In Vallejo, Calif., which filed for bankruptcy in 2008, cuts left the police force a third smaller, and the city became a hub for prostitution.

In San Bernardino, dozens of officers have been laid off since the bankruptcy filing, leaving the police force with 264 officers, down from 350 in 2009. Those who remain call in sick more often, said the police chief, Robert Handy. Emergency response times are up. Nonemergency calls often get no response.

At the same time, as part of a plan to reduce the state prison population, nearly 4,000 criminals who would once have been sent to state prison have been put in the custody of San Bernardino County law enforcement authorities. Some have been released, putting more low-level criminals back on the streets of San Bernardino, Chief Hardy said, and adding to the challenges already faced by the police.

â??All of our crime is up, and the city has a very high crime rate per capita anyway,â?? Chief Handy said. â??I canâ??t police the city with much less than this. Weâ??re dangerously close as it is.â??

As lawyers wrangle in court over San Bernardinoâ??s plan to cut $26 million from its budget and defer some of its pension payments, city officials say there is little more they can do to turn back the rising tide of violence.

Mayor Patrick J. Morris said he was even looking into eliminating the Police Department entirely, and relying on the county Sheriffâ??s Department for law enforcement, which could save money. Many other city services, he said, have already been cut â??almost into nonexistence.â??

â??The parks department is shredded, the libraries similarly,â?? Mr. Morris said. â??My office is down to nobody. Iâ??ve got literally no one left.â?? (Mr. Morrisâ??s son now serves as a volunteer chief of staff for the mayorâ??s office.)

With the city unable to provide, residents have begun to take more responsibility. Volunteers help with park maintenance, work at the city animal shelter and, in some cases, even replace broken streetlights.

Neighborhood watch groups have also grown in number in the last year, as they did in Vallejo and Stockton after those cities filed for bankruptcy. There are now more than 100 groups and counting, up from 76 last year. Chief Handy said the groups would play a â??huge partâ?? in fighting crime, especially given the cut to the police.

In less affluent parts of the city, though, community groups have had less influence. On the West Side, traditionally a gang-controlled area, one resident, Elisa Cortez, said that almost all the neighbors on her block had recently moved in, and that she did not know them.

This is a reasonable glimpse into what we can expect nation wide under the failed liberal policies that we continue to get out of Washington.

A resident of San Bernardino called into a radio station, to tell them that her alarm system she received for Christmas went off.

You know it’s time to move when someone gives you an alarm system for Christmas.

This is boring, I gotta tell ya…this is BORING, Honestly guys, you may be decent
human beings but this and all other related shit is spoken about ad nauseum on Micheal Savage,
Fox News, and Glenn Beck all the fuckin’ time…sheesh, same ol’ song.
Yeah yeah, I know it’s fairly timely, liberalism sucks yada yada we GET that.
I realize I post some off the wall stuff, but it’s interesting and controversial stuff nevertheless.
Sing a new tune.

[quote]Karado wrote:
This is boring, I gotta tell ya…this is BORING, Honestly guys, you may be decent
human beings but this and related shit is spoken about repeatedly on Micheal Savage,
Fox News, and Glenn Beck all the fuckin’ time…sheesh, same ol’ song.
Yeah yeah, I know it’s fairly timely, liberalism sucks yada yada we GET that.
I realize I post some off the wall stuff, but it’s interesting and controversial stuff nevertheless.
Sing a new tune.[/quote]

Out of the 10 worst rated cities in America, California has 4 of them. Don’t worry amigo, I hear Chi-town is really bumpin’ these days.

[quote]MaximusB wrote:

[quote]Karado wrote:
This is boring, I gotta tell ya…this is BORING, Honestly guys, you may be decent
human beings but this and related shit is spoken about repeatedly on Micheal Savage,
Fox News, and Glenn Beck all the fuckin’ time…sheesh, same ol’ song.
Yeah yeah, I know it’s fairly timely, liberalism sucks yada yada we GET that.
I realize I post some off the wall stuff, but it’s interesting and controversial stuff nevertheless.
Sing a new tune.[/quote]

Out of the 10 worst rated cities in America, California has 4 of them. Don’t worry amigo, I hear Chi-town is really bumpin’ these days. [/quote]

In addition to that the worst states in the union are those that have had long term liberal rule. California and New York are just two of them. Someone should also check the standard of living in the communist state of Vermont.

It’s borderline shocking that people would continually vote for a liberal when liberalism has been a proven failure wherever it has been tried.

Of course many of those voters stand to directly gain, in the short-term from such horrible leadership.

[quote]MaximusB wrote:

[quote]Karado wrote:
This is boring, I gotta tell ya…this is BORING, Honestly guys, you may be decent
human beings but this and related shit is spoken about repeatedly on Micheal Savage,
Fox News, and Glenn Beck all the fuckin’ time…sheesh, same ol’ song.
Yeah yeah, I know it’s fairly timely, liberalism sucks yada yada we GET that.
I realize I post some off the wall stuff, but it’s interesting and controversial stuff nevertheless.
Sing a new tune.[/quote]

Out of the 10 worst rated cities in America, California has 4 of them. Don’t worry amigo, I hear Chi-town is really bumpin’ these days. [/quote]

I’m not sure if I’ve asked you before, Max, but why do you stick around?

[quote]MaximusB wrote:

[quote]Karado wrote:
This is boring, I gotta tell ya…this is BORING, Honestly guys, you may be decent
human beings but this and related shit is spoken about repeatedly on Micheal Savage,
Fox News, and Glenn Beck all the fuckin’ time…sheesh, same ol’ song.
Yeah yeah, I know it’s fairly timely, liberalism sucks yada yada we GET that.
I realize I post some off the wall stuff, but it’s interesting and controversial stuff nevertheless.
Sing a new tune.[/quote]

Out of the 10 worst rated cities in America, California has 4 of them. Don’t worry amigo, I hear Chi-town is really bumpin’ these days. [/quote]

  1. What list is this? The ones I have seen only have 2.

  2. On the lists I have seen they list Oakland and Stockton, those cities have ALWAYS sucked.

Hey xXSeraphimXx, Mammoth Lakes is in for 46 MILLION over the next 23 years due to a botched and fucked up city council that appearantly cannot read a simple statement from the FAA about set back from airports.

So the Council awards the “retired” police chief a salary of 310,000. The city Manager gets 210,000 and the Assistant town Manager gets 240,000 a year in a city of 6500 year around residents. On top of that Mammoth Lakes has two shoulder seasons when it is only the locals living here, so in essence they are getting paid that for 8 months worth of work a year…

we a one VERY FUCKED little mountain town… :wink:

SMH - I stick around because I want to be here when the shit pops off.

Seraphim - Fresno and Modesto are the other two. I could point out Vallejo, and even Los Angeles as our useless fucking mayor would rather party with Charlie Sheen. We have a $260 million deficit and $27 Billion unfunded debt, but he would rather try to go fuck the next newsreporter.

[quote]Karado wrote:
This is boring, I gotta tell ya…this is BORING, Honestly guys, you may be decent
human beings but this and all other related shit is spoken about ad nauseum on Micheal Savage,
Fox News, and Glenn Beck all the fuckin’ time…sheesh, same ol’ song.
Yeah yeah, I know it’s fairly timely, liberalism sucks yada yada we GET that.
I realize I post some off the wall stuff, but it’s interesting and controversial stuff nevertheless.
Sing a new tune.[/quote]

It is just so utterly boring when people are being murdered at an increasing rate due to failing governmental policies. For goodness sake, Kim Kardashian is having a baby! Focus, people.