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Prop 47 causing uptick of crime in Fortuna

FORTUNA- Crime is on the rise in the Friendly City and local police say Prop 47 is to blame.

"We've kind of kept informal stats on crime related calls, burglaries drug possession, things along those lines and we're seeing pretty sharp uptick in those types of things," Fortuna Police Chief Bill Dobberstein said, "and I attribute that to the fact that when we arrest somebody for, lets say, a drug related offense, they're not staying in jail anymore, they're going to jail and they're being released and within an hour they're back on the streets so it's that revolving door type of situation."

On Monday Chief Dobberstein spoke to the Fortuna Chamber of Commerce about the direct effects of Prop 47. The law was passed in November and changes felonies like burglary, forgery and drug possession into misdemeanors. Since it's passing nearly 10,000 inmates have been released from county jails and state prisons, 100 of those on drug and theft charges from the Humboldt County jail.

According to Chief Dobberstein, the new law is making it harder for police to deter criminals. But there are a few things residents and business owners can do. Fortuna's crime prevention specialist Enoch Ibarra calls it D3, deter, detect and delay.

Put up cameras, make sure your property is well lit, get an alarm system and use thorny shrubbery are all suggestions to help protect your valuables from criminals.