Bankrupt city struggles to keep residents safe
November 30, 2012 2:09 PM

SAN BERNARDINO • In discussing the city’s bankruptcy and police cuts during a recent town hall meeting, San Bernardino City Attorney Jim Penman told residents to go home, lock their doors and load their guns, because police would not be able to protect them.

An estimated 150 residents went to a council meeting to voice their concerns about recent crimes in the area, including the murder of an elderly woman last week. reported that Penman said the city is dealing with bankruptcy, which has forced officials to cut its police force by about 80 officers. As a result, police response times have increased.

“Let’s be honest, we don’t have enough police officers,” Penman told “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.

“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,” Penman said.

The city of San Bernardino has seen a 50 percent increase in murders this year compared to 2011.

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