(NaturalNews) In a sign of things to come in this day and age of forced fiscal austerity, officials of a bankrupt city in California are warning residents they will need to accept more responsibility for their own safety because services are going to be cut - including the police force.
The city of San Bernardino - one of four California municipalities to declare bankruptcy this year - is now under fire for being honest with its residents, telling them that, in wake of the coming police cuts, they should "lock their doors and load their guns."
City attorney Jim Penman, who made the comments during a recent City Council meeting, said he doesn't regret the warning at all, adding that it was entirely appropriate given the gravity of the situation and the slashing of public safety budgets.
"You should say what you mean and mean what you say," Penman told local media.
Not enough money for police but plenty for freeloaders?
About 150 residents came to the council meeting to voice concerns about a recent crime wave in the area, which included the murder of an elderly woman in late November.
"You could tell the swell of frustration was coming over a lot of folks. They did not feel like they could get an officer out as quickly to some of the quality-of-life issues that they were dealing with as they would have preferred," City Councilwoman Wendy McCommack, who organized the meeting and was present, told CBS' Los Angeles affiliate.
"If I remember right, I told them to 'lock their doors and load their guns,'" Penman said, noting that since the city is dealing with bankruptcy, officials have been forced to cut the police department by about 80 officers. As such, criticism has been mounting over the department's resultant longer response times.
"Let's be honest, we don't have enough police officers. We have too many criminals living in this city. We have had 45 murders this year...that's far too high for a city of this size," Penman said.
Hence the need for people to protect themselves and their families; although, he said they should be smart about it.
"I'm not advocating that people go out, who don't have any training, and buy firearms. I certainly strongly caution anyone who has children at home not to have a loaded gun in the house," he said.
McCommack accentuated the attorney's comments.
"We need to take our streets back, we need to take our neighborhoods back and we need to protect our homes, and that's what I think Jim was trying to say," she explained.
There has been a 50 percent increase in homicides in San Bernardino - a city of 250,000 located 65 miles east of Los Angeles - this year compared to last year, officials said - a figure that is only likely to rise, given the loss of so many officers.
San Bernardino joins Stockton, Mammoth Lakes and Atwater as California cities that have filed Chapter 9 bankruptcy.
Experts see it getting worse - a lot worse.
City "leaders" will placate the masses but gut the police
"In California, we have a disease, and the disease is spreading," David Kotok, chief investment officer at Florida-based Cumberland Advisors, told attendees to the State & Municipal Finance Conference in New York in October, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.
"I suspect we're going to see wholesale warnings and downgrades" among bond rating issuers in the state, he warned.
The economic disaster that is California will begin spreading throughout the remainder of the United States in the months and years ahead, as successive municipal and state governments are crushed under the weight of socialist political pandering that, like Greece, has proven to be a complete failure.
Americans in cities dominated by California's brand of self-serving statists should heed Jim Penman's warning, because their "leaders" will also cut fire/police/EMS, as well as other city services, before withholding a single dime's worth of benefits from the tens of millions of freeloaders they created using your tax money.