Attorney General Kamala Harris said Wednesday that a $71 million cut to the Division of Law Enforcement budget will "handcuff the state Department of Justice's ability to fight gang violence and disrupt the flow of drugs, guns and human beings across our border."
Harris' press release outlined dire consequences that include several hundred law enforcement positions cut and criminal prosecutions hampered. The AG called on lawmakers to restore the money.
Meanwhile, union leadership sought to reassure members that they were fighting the cuts. Al Cardwood, president of the Association of Special Agents-DOJ, sent a letter to members on Wednesday that included this paragraph:
I will tell you that AG Kamala Harris, Director Wallace and Deputy Director Lopes worked until late last night making telephone calls when the news hit the airwaves. Also, CSLEA President Alan Barcelona and CSLEA lobbyist Coby Pizzotti have been in constant contact with me during these latest developments and are working on our behalf.
Earlier, Barcelona signed this budget opposition letter and fired it off to legislators:
CSLEA letter opposing cuts to DOJ budget