Rural Crime Funds Restored in Budget

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(Sacramento, CA)
Thursday, July 7, 2005

In 1996 the state created a rural crime prevention program. It calls for increased protection of the state's 30-billion dollar a year agriculture industry.

Bill Yoshimoto heads a rural crime task force in the Central Valley. He says the program is designed to deter all types of crime, including acts of terrorism.

"It's a collaborative effort by eight counties to try to stop people from stealing crops, chemicals, equipment and doing damage to California's Central Valley agriculture."

But in his recent budget proposals, the Governor called for the program's three million dollars in funding to be cut by half. After an outcry from the agriculture community, the money was restored in the budget last week.

oshimoto says three million dollars to protect a 30 billion dollar industry is not a lot and that it's not a question of if terrorists strike the food supply, but when.