Every now and then, I like to remind our readers about the super cozy, buddy-buddy relationship between the local TV news media and the law enforcement establishment.
At its simplest, it works like this – TV new folks depend on law enforcement officials and their PR teams to supply a steady stream of fear-mongering crime stories (and occasional feel good propaganda) to air on TV each day. In return, the cops depend on TV news folks help indoctrinate the public, and promote and advance a pro-law enforcement agenda and narrative.
Although it may occasionally get muddied by a law enforcement scandal or two, the relationship works pretty well. For example, check out this story that ran last week on News 9.
Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Office Says Law Is Causing Spike In Burglaries, Forms New Taskforce
Investigators have formed a taskforce to tackle a growing problem.
According to the Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Office, since the start the year, thieves have stolen more than half a million dollars in property in Oklahoma County.
According to the sheriff’s office, the numbers have spiked since Oklahomans voted in favor of State Question 780 in 2016.
According to the latest OSBI numbers from 2017-2018, larceny crimes in Oklahoma County increased by more than 7%.
First of all, kudos to QuikTrip for being ahead of the game on this. Second…
Hide your kids, hide your wife, and hide your husband! Larceny crimes have increased 7% over two years in Oklahoma County and it’s State Question 780’s fault! Who cares that crime stats can be easily manipulated, or that an increase (or decrease) in thefts could be attributed to wide variety of socioeconomic factors, or that the long-term gains of criminal justice reform will offset any associated short-term crime spikes, we know 780 is the problem because the cops and their media buddies told us it is.
Under 780, some low-level drug and property crimes were reduced from felonies to misdemeanors.
“The threshold has been lowered as far as concerning thefts. For a felony it used to be $500, and now it’s a $1,000,” said Meyers.
Meyers said criminals have taken note.
“We’re also finding inmates or criminals we’re speaking with are bragging about it. They understand the law and even take calculators with them to make sure they are stealing less than $1,000,” said Meyers.
There are lots of good things to come out of criminal justice reform in Oklahoma – people being reunited with loved ones, drug dealers going back to work, etc. – but one underappreciated aspect is the boom it has created for the local calculator industry. In fact, calculator sales have gone up 7% since 780 passed!
“Okay, Sal. Between the Amazon packages, catalytic converter and all stuff we found in that kid’s backpack, it looks like we’re up to $843.12. That gives us about $156-bucks to play with.”
“Did you include the copper?”
“Nope, let me put that in the calcula… ah crap, I accidentally hit CE.”
Since News 9 spent the first half of the story regurgitating the conclusions made by the Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Department as irrefutable fact, this is obviously the part where they talk to an unbiased expert to put that stat in proper context.
Haha. Yeah right.
“MASE” or Multi-jurisdiction Anti-crime Support Effort will crack down on crimes, similar to a burglary bust in January that spanned multiple counties. It resulted in the recovery of tens of thousands of dollars in stolen goods and led to multiple arrests.
“They are sharing resources, information, working with each other on similar cases, determining if they have similar suspects,” said Meyers.
The task force meets twice a month.
Whew, what a sigh of relief. When I voted “Yes” on 780, I did so hoping that a multi-county jurisdiction would soon be formed to crack down on larceny and other misdemeanors to help put more people in jail! We have to hold on to the number one spot in the world-wide incarceration ratings at all cost! With local media continuing to push the narratives of their friends in law enforcement, it may just happen.