In recent years, California has experienced some of the most challenging emergencies in state history, including intense storms and flooding, catastrophic wildfires, regional earthquakes and the COVID-19 pandemic, among many others.
Most recently, the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES), serving as the state’s lead emergency management agency, has also taken a leadership role in the overall safety and security of its communities.
Governor Gavin Newsom today unveiled his proposed 2024-25 budget – which includes $3 billion ($530.3 million General Fund) and 1,909 positions for Cal OES. The budget includes funding for Cal OES to continue investments in criminal justice reform, aid survivors of domestic violence, protecting faith communities and modernizing first responder systems.
The proposed budget specifically includes:
- Increase Support for Local Law Enforcement Mutual Aid – $75 million one-time General Fund ($25 million per year for three years, beginning in 2022-23) to provide local law enforcement support during disasters and emergencies. This funding was augmented by an additional $10 million investment in 2023-24 to reimburse local law enforcement agencies’ overtime costs for providing an in-person security presence at religious institutions and places of worship.
- Domestic and Sexual Violence, Human Trafficking, and Children’s Services – $17.3 million one-time General Fund across 2021-22 ($15 million) and 2023-24 ($2.3 million) to expand domestic violence and sexual violence prevention efforts; $6.7 million ongoing General Fund beginning in 2021-22 to increase reimbursements to local law enforcement agencies to offset the cost of reimbursing qualified health care professionals, hospitals, or other emergency medical facilities for medical evidentiary examinations for all sexual assault victims; $51 million one-time General Fund over five years, beginning in 2021-22, to expand human trafficking survivor support programs; and $21 million one-time General Fund across 2021-22 ($11 million) and 2023-24 ($10 million) to support the Family Justice Center Program providing services for victims and their children.
- California Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force – $15 million one-time General Fund ($5 million per year for three years, beginning in 2022-23) to continue the existing level of funding for this program, which helps state and local law enforcement agencies develop an effective response to technology-facilitated child sexual exploitation and combatting underground child pornography rings.
- Public Safety Radio Modernization to Support Equal Access to 9-1-1 Services – An increase of $6.4 million State Emergency Telephone Number Account funds an additional 12 positions to continue implementation of the California Radio Interoperable System, a statewide public safety radio system that dramatically improves interoperability for state, local, and federal public safety responders. These modernization efforts are vital to make sure first responders have equal access to voice and data communications wherever their mission takes them. The system’s expanded coverage will include connecting the front-line responders to centralized command and dispatch.
Raising Awareness on Gun Violence Restraining Orders – In June 2023, Governor Newsom announced the launch of GunSafety.ca.gov, a new website that provides critical information and multilingual, culturally competent materials on how Californians can use Gun Violence Restraining Orders to help protect their loved ones when someone poses a threat to themself or others.
To further promote equitable access to this tool, all of the resources have been trans-created into the eight most commonly spoken languages in California: English, Spanish, Chinese (Mandarin), Chinese (Cantonese), Vietnamese, Tagalog/Filipino, Korean and Armenian.
The new website and trans-created materials are part of an $11 million statewide campaign, administered by the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services, to raise awareness, educate the public and explain the steps required to obtain a Gun Violence Restraining Order. In California, Gun Violence Restraining Orders were used to prevent 58 threatened mass shootings between 2016 and 2019 and have shown immense promise in reducing the incidence of firearm suicide. Learn more here.
Survivor Services and Grants – In recent years, Governor Newsom has continued to expand domestic violence and sexual violence prevention efforts, including increasing reimbursements to local law enforcement agencies to offset the cost of reimbursing qualified health care professionals, hospitals, or other emergency medical facilities for medical evidentiary examinations for sexual assault victims and expanding human trafficking survivor programs, among other programs.
Learn more about the grants provided to organizations to help survivors here.
California Nonprofit Security Grant Program – Reinforcing efforts to protect Californians from hate-motivated violence, the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES) provides grants for physical security enhancements to nonprofit organizations that are at high risk for violent attacks and hate crimes to due ideology, beliefs or mission.
Administered by Cal OES, the funding is through the State Nonprofit Security Grant Program, which provides physical security related activities. Possible security enhancements include reinforced doors, gates, shatter-proof glass and window film, access control systems and security personnel.
Learn more about the program here.