Report: A “Truckpocalypse” is about to begin in California, taking 70,000 truckers off the road thanks to liberal policy

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WASHINGTON, D.C. – According to reports, the United States Supreme Court has decided against hearing the California Trucking Associations case against a worker classification law known as Assembly Bill 5 or AB5.

The high Court made its announcement on June 30th, just before heading off to recess for the next few months.

This means that the U.S Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit’s ruling stands, which eliminates the preliminary injunction currently preventing AB5 from being enforced on motor carriers.

The basic gist of AB5 is that it makes it more difficult for a worker to be considered an independent contractor. Also know popularly as the “gig worker bill,” the legislation requires companies that hire independent contractors to reclassify them as employees, with only some exceptions.

This legislations has many people in the state of California trucking industry concerned about the future of the owner-operator. AB5 was initially passed into law back in 2019, but the lawsuit against it had prevented it from impacting the trucking industry.

In a statement, the California Trucking Association (CTA), said:

“Gasoline has been poured on the fire that is our ongoing supply chain crisis. In addition to the direct impact on California’s 70,000 owner-operators who have seven days to cease long-standing independent businesses, the impact of taking tens of thousands of truck drivers off the road will have devastating repercussions on an already fragile supply chain, increasing costs and worsening runaway inflation.”

The Owner-Operated Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA), which filed an amicus brief in support for the CTA’s petition, said that it was disappointed the Supreme Court’s decision. OOIDA President Todd Spencer said in a statement:

“With AB5 now set to go into effect, thousands of owner-operators driving in California face an uncertain future. California has provided no guidance to owner-operators about how they can work as independent contractors under this new scheme, and truckers will be at the mercy of the courts to interpret how the law will be applied.”

He added:

“For truckers that have invested their blood, sweat and treasure to create their own businesses, it is dismaying that lawmakers and the courts are forging ahead with this radical policy that dismisses a beneficial business model that has been in place for decades. At the same time, we know this will not be the last word on the legality of AB5 and expect to participate in future challenges to the law.”

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In stark comparison, the California Attorney’s General Office applauded the high Court’s decision. A spokesperson for the office said:

“We’re pleased with the court’s decision to reject this challenge to AB5’s application to the motor carrier industry. At the California Department of Justice, we’ll continue to do our park to defend laws that are designed to protect workers and ensure fair labor and business practices.”

According to another report, AB5 which was passed and signed by Democrats, essentially outlaws independent contractors from operating transport trucks in the state of California. When the law goes into effect in the coming week, California will be hit with a “truckpocalypse” shutdown of transportation capacity.

While some transportation companies maintain full-time employees to operate long haul rigs, many drivers are “owner-operators” who actually own their own trucks and who pick up contract jobs from the hundreds of shipping and transport companies that operate in California.

These owner-operators pay their own taxes, buy their own health insurance, and cover their own fuel costs. Yet, it seems California Democrats think that independent freedom for truckers should be criminalized. So, they have outlawed independent contractors in the trucking industry.

Once the new law goes into effect, it is expected to cause widespread logjams, cost increases, and delays to transportation across America.

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As crime explodes in Baltimore, Democrats roll out new plan for cops: less responding to crime, more being friendly

May 22nd, 2022

BALTIMORE, MD – The Baltimore Police Department is looking to transition away from a response-centric department. Mayor Brandon Scott and Police Commissioner Michael Harrison have released a plan that would take policing in the city back to the turn of the 20th century.

The intent is to allow officers to walk their patrol and engage with neighborhood residents and community members. The program is called S.M.A.R.T. and stands for Strategic Management & Alternative Response Tactics.

While the initiative doesn’t completely shut down response-driven policing, the city does hope to use non-law enforcement resources to manage some of that work.

According to WJZ:

“Traffic incidents that do not involve injury or drunken driving will be outsourced to a third party the city has hired or handled online. Social workers will respond to some mental health crises; some minor crimes will be handled online-only or over the phone.”

Even traffic accidents that do not involve injuries or drunk driving will also be outsourced to a group that the city has contracted with.

All of these measures are meant to reduce the amount of time that officers are spending on non-emergency calls such as shoplifting, stolen property, stolen property and “nuisance” calls.

Commissioner Harrison said, “It does not mean that we are giving up on crime. It only means that the initial response changes.”

Policing through the program will “free up officers to walk the beat and build relationships in the community,” according to the mayor.

“This is about using our resources in an effective and efficient manner,” Scott said. “Our patrol officers should be patrolling. We have grown a culture in Baltimore, over many generations, where they are not patrol officers — they are call-takers. We want to go back to the days where we can have our patrol officers being just that.”

The department is also looking to make certain positions a civilian role. Starting in FY23, which starts in July, BPD is hoping to hire 35 civilian investigators to manage the detective work for things like cold cases, low-level crimes, internal affairs inquiries and background checks.

They are looking to add an additional 135 staff members over the following two fiscal periods. Those individuals would fill roles in everything from fleet vehicle maintenance to public relations to police academy instructors.

Harrison said that these changes would also be beneficial for law enforcement, noting that these new hires would not be at the expense of sworn officer’s positions, but will be added to enhance the department’s capabilities.

“It helps with job satisfaction and retention because our members often prefer to be out on the streets policing and patrolling and deterring crimes and apprehending people who commit them, rather than just going from call to call to write reports,” he said.

But not everyone is convinced that this new initiative will address the violent crime issues in the city.

Maryland’s Republican governor, Larry Hogan, has some questions.

“I don’t know whether it’s smart or it’s dumb. I just hope that they’ll do something about the violent crime and stop the shootings that are taking place every day,” Hogan said.

“It’s a pretty simple plan: Arrest more, prosecute more and sentence more. Keep them in jail and take the violent repeat offenders off the streets. I don’t know what their plan did today, but I’m not sure it’s going to address that.”

Scott said the plan addresses the governor’s concerns.

“We know that every time you’re able to take your report faster, every time you’re able to put another sworn officer out on the streets, that has an impact,” he said.

But not everyone is convinced that social workers or civilian detectives are the right approach.

But the department is doubling down by pushing residents to file police reports online. But you have to answer no to all 10 questions.

  1. Is this an emergency?
  2. Are there any known suspects?
  3. Are there any witnesses who observed the incident or who could provide information leading to the identity of the suspect?
  4. Is the crime in progress?
  5. Has the incident already been reported to police by phone or in person?
  6. Did the incident occur less than 30 minutes ago?
  7. Did the incident occur outside of Baltimore City?
  8. Is there any evidence or fingerprints for police to collect?
  9. Is the incident a hate or bias crime? (A hate or bias crime is an act that appears to be motivated or is perceived by the victim to be motivated all or in part by race, color, religious beliefs, national origin, ethnic background, sexual orientation or disability.)
  10. Did the incident occur on a state freeway?

The online reporting system seems to indicate that many instances will still require dispatch and officers will respond…kind of like they do now, only they will be doing a lot more walking.

Report: A "Truckpocalypse" is about to begin in California, taking 70,000 truckers off the road thanks to liberal policy

These are ideas that Baltimore’s mayor has been toying with for some time. We invite you to look at our previous coverage of this topic.

DIG DEEPER

Report: Leftist Mayor Brandon Scott announces elimination of sworn officer vacancies, replaces them with “civilian investigators”

 

BALTIMORE, MD- According to a reports, Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott has announced plans to start hiring civilians as investigators to help Baltimore police detectives solve low-level offenses.

Under the proposal, Baltimore’s police budget would increase by $5 million, as the plan calls for 35 investigators and other support staff to assist with an anti-violence initiative.

During a briefing for media, city budget director Bob Cenname said that the $560.4 million proposed allocation for the police department calls for eliminating 30 vacant sworn police officer positions and replacing them with the civilian investigator positions.

Cenname said that the civilians would help detectives and patrol officers in completing investigations by tracking down leads and searching databases.

The mayor said he predicts an immediate impact as soon as the program starts. The new 35-member civilian detective corps is allegedly designed to allow sworn officers to focus more on violent crime in the city. Commissioner Michael Harrison said in a statement:

“It helps us with speed and it helps us with frequency. We can get to cases faster and we can take on more cases at the same time by adding this capacity. Speed and frequency helps us arrive at deterring crime. It helps us arrive at apprehending people who commit crime and holding them accountable.”

The civilian detectives will manage low-level property crimes, work cold cases, do background checks and intelligence gathering, and handle internal affairs matters. Scott said in a statement:

“This is about allowing our sworn folks to be focused on what our residents want them to be focused on, and that’s the violence that is happening in the city. Allowing the civilians to do administrative functions, we can then focus our wonderful sworn folks out on the streets of Baltimore, which we know will have an impact.”

Reportedly, civilian detective corps personnel will be trained in police policies as well as state and local laws. They will also learn basic investigative techniques and tactics. The starting annual salary will be $49,000. Harrison said in a statement:

“These investigative specialists would be used broadly throughout the agency and they could be used as a national model for how law enforcement agencies build capacity on a parallel path to sworn officers.”

Sworn police officers start at just $60,000 under the newly-signed contract with the city. According to reports, Baltimore has reached 300 or more homicides for the past seven years and is on pace to experience a similar total for 2022.

The police department has been reportedly working to hire more civilians to help address the effects of officer shortages. There are currently 2,274 sworn officers and 519 civilian employees. However, that is below the budgeted 2,640 sworn officers and 615 civilian positions.

According to the department, 70 sworn officers have left the department while 26 were hired this year through March. As part of an ongoing federal consent decree from 2017, the department is required to adequately staff patrol, investigations, and internal affairs positions.

In the past, the department has relied heavily on overtime, spending nearly $50 million. However, in recent years, Harrison has put in place measures to rein in costs and for this fiscal year, police overtime is projected at $34 million.

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Consequences of defunding Seattle police: Cops forced to make rape and sexual assault cases a low priority

April 14th, 2022

SEATTLE, WA — Police insiders have given two reasons why sex crimes investigations in Seattle are not being handled expeditiously like in the past.

According to a report by KUOW, two anonymous Seattle Police employees said there are two reasons why far fewer sex assault cases have been forwarded to the King County Prosecutor’s Office.

Employee retention is one part of the problem, with 16 percent of Seattle officers currently on leave. Several others have already permanently left the department.

Greg Doss, fiscal and policy analyst with the City of Seattle, confirmed with KUOW that the number of Seattle police officers has gone down since 2019, but that it became a bigger problem sometime in 2020.

Doss said in an email to KUOW that a big part of the staffing problem is attributed to officers out on extended leave since 2020. Many of the officers on extended leave now are using their accrued time, likely before departing permanently.

"I'm being treated unfairly": Accused cop-killer complains that defense lawyers keep dropping his case

Doss also said that some employees refused to get vaccinated by Oct. 18 last year.

The second issue, according to the employees, is the new mayor’s policing strategy that reflects a preference for tackling visible crimes over those that are “invisible.”

https://twitter.com/FinnsPoppy/status/1513857478714281987

KUOW reported:

“A new mayor means a new policing strategy, and Mayor Bruce Harrell made it clear during his campaign that he aims to address ‘visible crime.’

“Since Harrell assumed office, at least seven patrol officers have been moved over to help empty tent encampments. Seattle officers are targeting city crime ‘hot spots,’ people purchasing and selling drugs, and stolen goods from big-box stores.

“The staffing challenges within the specialty teams of the Seattle Police Department are driven by the lack of active police staffing, Jamie Housen, spokesperson for Mayor Harrell, said by email. He said Harrell has often called for Seattle Police staffing to be restored.

“The two Seattle Police employees who communicated with KUOW asked not to be named because it is a policy violation to discuss their work with journalists.”

KUOW reported that Seattle’s year-end crime report states violent and property crime is up:

Harrell promised to address crime hotspots and repeat offenders of low-level crimes. He’s been vocal about removing unhoused people from Seattle streets, and officers are being tapped for his cause.”

Both employees confirmed to KUOW that adult victims of sexual assault have been sidelined because the visible crimes are being prioritized now.

One of the sources said:

“The Seattle Police Department sexual assault unit is not at all investigating adult sexual assault reports or cases unless there was an arrest.”

Currently, four detectives handle sexual assault and child abuse cases in Seattle, according to KUOW.

Crimes against children are the highest priority, because Washington state law requires investigation into these crimes, whereas adult sex assault reports have a longer window in which officers may begin investigating them, according to the same report.

One of the sources told KUOW that there is a disturbing trend to their child abuse cases:

“Our child cases are increasing due to the fact that children are coming back to school from Covid. There’s more reporting, and we are seeing an aggressive level of child abuse than we have seen previously.”

Mayor spokesperson Housen pointed out that the sexual assault and child abuse unit decreased to four detectives before Harrell took office, KUOW reported.

The news outlet also noted that people who call the police department about sex crimes are rerouted to a voicemail intended for nonurgent crimes:

“Seattle detectives continue to investigate crimes reported in early 2020, the employee said. These cases require search warrants, witness interviews, and DNA evidence — which take time.

“Fewer officers means that in some cases, people calling to report a sexual assault are routed to the automated telephone reporting unit, designed to address non-urgent calls such as stolen checks.”

Mary Ellen Stone, chief executive officer of the King County Sexual Assault Resource Center, told KUOW that it has always been difficult for survivors to report their assault to police and pursue criminal charges.

Stone referred to a report that the Resource Center published last year. It found that among a backlog of cases in King County Superior Court, there were 408 sexual assault victims who had been waiting on average 563 days for disposition.

https://twitter.com/Jerz_Boy_Virgo/status/1514253877494886401

Stone noted the deterioration:

“We want to look at this not as ‘Oh, my goodness this all of a sudden happened,’ but this has been the state for some time, and now it’s worse.”

In addition, KUOW said that a 2020 report by the King County Auditor’s Office found the King County Sheriff’s Office and the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office sometimes didn’t interview sexual assault victims within the recommended time frame and that deputies failed to provide advocacy information, which is a legal requirement.

Jordan Walker, a legal advocate with the King County Sexual Assault Resource Center, told KUOW that while he understands that law enforcement agencies are shorthanded, there are long-term consequences of police being understaffed.

Walker said that people who file reports and are then ignored would be justifiably frustrated and would probably share their negative experiences with others, causing a ripple effect of fewer people filing reports in the future:

“When the front door into a criminal case, into someone hearing your story, someone looking into your story, when that door is locked, and you can’t even get in, the whole system can feel disenfranchised.”

Walker also suggested that if reported sexual assaults are not being investigated, then the problem of sex crimes is being masked, but still exists.

KUOW reported:

“The Seattle Police Department declined to provide KUOW with details on caseloads and which units officers are assigned to, due to their ‘fluid nature,’ and as a ‘matter of policy,’ Seattle Police spokesperson Randall Huserik said by email.

“In his 2021 year-end crime report, Interim Chief Adrian Diaz said that there had been a reduction in rape cases. But documents obtained by KUOW show that the number of cases coming into the sexual assault and child abuse unit have increased since 2019. These numbers do not separate out rapes from other sexual assaults.

“Data from the King County Prosecutor’s Office shows that fewer Seattle Police cases, including those from the sexual assault and child abuse unit, are being sent to prosecutors to determine if charges should be filed.

“Chief Diaz has prioritized deploying officers to high-priority emergency calls, and deterring ‘crime through proactivity,’ his spokesperson Randy Huserik said.

“The Seattle Police blog is peppered with the details of recent shootings, robberies, and photos of guns and drugs police have seized.

“Thirty officers make up the Community Response Group, a project Chief Diaz launched in 2020 to lead protest response and work citywide to ‘enhance 911 and emergency response,’ the Seattle Police blotter says.”

KUOW also suggested that shoplifting and homelessness appear to be top-priority crimes that are being addressed:

“This roaming unit of cops on March 31 helped to make 49 shoplifting arrests. They detained a young woman with a baby, after a man who was accused of stealing throw pillows and a memory foam mattress, got in her car at a Lowe’s Home Improvement in Rainier Valley.

“The woman was driving and fled when police flashed their lights. Several police cars followed them to north Seattle. 

“Seattle Mayor Harrell continues to make good on his campaign promise to clear the homeless from Seattle’s public spaces, with officers present and available to intervene when activists and mutual aid workers are accused of interfering with the clearing of the homeless.

“Seven patrol officers recently moved into the team that assists in emptying out homeless encampments around Seattle — the Alternative Response Team — to aid with this effort and work hot-spot emphasis areas downtown and in the International District.”

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