Lock Your Doors & Load Your Guns: Calif. City Attorney Tells Residents to Be Self-Reliant Following Cuts to Police Force

Jim Penman, city attorney for San Bernardino (Credit: AP)

The bankrupt city of San Bernardino, Calif. is so cash-strapped it has been forced to slash public safety budgets just to stay afloat. That includes downsizing the police force.

During a city council meeting this week, Jim Penman, the city Attorney of San Bernardino, told residents to “lock your doors and load your guns” because they will need to start protecting themselves due to the diminishing number of cops on the streets, CBS Los Angeles reports. It is the perfect example of why self-reliance is so important — because when the government can’t protect you anymore, you have be able to protect yourself and your family.

Penman has been criticized by some for his brutally honest statement but he is standing by it.

“You should say what you mean and mean what you say,” he said.

The comments came after about 150 concerned residents attended a city council meeting to express their concerns about a number of recent crimes in the area, including the murder of an elderly woman last week.

“Well, if I remember right, I told them to ‘lock their doors and load their guns,'” Penman recounted.

Councilwoman Wendy McCommack said she could tell the “swell of frustration was coming over a lot of folks” at the meeting.

The city is working through bankruptcy and financial woes have forced San Bernardino to lay off about 80 police officers. As a result, police response times are delayed and people are not happy about it.

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

The city attorney urged people to be responsible but said it is important for people to be able to protect themselves and their families.

“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 added.

“San Bernardino has seen a 50 percent increase in murders this year comported to 2011,” CBS Los Angeles reports.

Featured image via Press Enterprise/Stan Lim