LOS ANGELES (AP) — Los Angeles County Sheriff Jim McDonnell says a recent change in law that makes certain drug and property crimes misdemeanors instead of felonies is a "significant" reason for an increase in county crime and has taken away the incentive for people to seek treatment for addiction.
McDonnell spoke about Proposition 47, among other issues, in a lengthy interview with The Associated Press on Thursday.
He says the state law passed in November prevents authorities from leveraging the threat of a felony charge to get people into treatment. He says treatment rolls are down 60 percent throughout the county, leaving people on the streets to offend again to feed their habits.
Overall, violent and property crimes spiked by 12.7 percent, while violent crime rose over 20 percent overall in the first six months of the year, compared with the same period last year, according to Los Angeles Police Department data.
McDonnell also spoke about the use of body cameras, impacts of voters potentially legalizing marijuana, and public trust in police.
(Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
for more features.