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Riverside County Sheriff Slams California’s Criminal Justice Reform Efforts As He Considers Run For Governor’s Office

“Californians are now suffering the consequences of a failed social agenda,” Riverside County Sheriff Chad Bianco said.

Riverside County Sheriff Chad Bianco slammed California’s progressive policies at a public safety rally in Sacramento earlier this year, arguing that the Democrat-run state has passed some of the worst laws in the country under the guise of criminal justice reform.

“I want to make this clear, and I want there to be no mistake and what I am saying — this is not by accident,” Bianco said at a press conference in January. 

He dubbed the progressive agenda as “nothing short of a sick and twisted social experiment where Law enforcement is the bad guy, and criminals are somehow victims of society and not responsible for their actions, crimes or accountable to their countless victims.”

Bianco said the root causes of crime around the Golden State stemmed from progressive policies like AB109  — the so-called Public Safety Realignment Act — which has led county jails to house overcrowded state prisons as thousands of other inmates were released from custody.

The sheriff also pointed to Prop 47, which lawmakers passed a decade ago to reduce a number of felonies to misdemeanors and increase the amount of petty theft to nearly $1000. 

Bianco also criticized Prop 57 for approving the release of thousands of “violent criminals on our streets.”

“Californians are now suffering the consequences of a failed social agenda,” he said.

Democrat Gov. Gavin Newsom and his administration have reportedly downplayed state crime data in recent years, with California Attorney General Rob Bonta noting that violent and property crime rates “remain significantly below their historical highs.”

Bianco and Republican lawmakers have alleged the governor’s office data is flawed, noting the lenient policies contradict the dramatic increases in crime and violence. 

Riverside County Republican Assemblyman Bill Essayli joined Bianco and other local law enforcement to call on Sacramento to end rampant lawlessness in California.

“California’s crime spree is a result of California’s soft-on-crime policies, and we must change that,” Essayli said in a news release.

Essayli and Bianco’s call for implementing stricter consequences on crime comes as rumors swirl that Bianco is considering running for governor as a Republican in 2026. 

Bianco, first elected as Riverside County’s sheriff in 2018, has dedicated his career to law enforcement. After overwhelmingly winning his bid for re-election in 2022, his longtime campaign advisor Nick Mirman signaled Bianco may take his leadership efforts to the state Capitol.

“People are looking for leadership in California,” Mirman said.  “And Chad Bianco is a leader.”


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