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California sheriff: Criminals getting more brazen, violent

When Chad Bianco became a deputy some 30 years ago, there was a level of “respect” between suspected criminals and police.

“When they got caught, they got caught,” said Bianco, now the sheriff of Riverside County, California. “They gave up and they suffered the consequences.”

It’s a completely different dynamic now, fueled by anti-police sentiment from the White House down to the local level, Bianco said.

Riverside County Sheriff Chad Bianco says criminals across the country are becoming more violent and brazen than he's seen in his 30-year career.

Riverside County Sheriff Chad Bianco says criminals across the country are becoming more violent and brazen than he’s seen in his 30-year career.

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“Criminals have become increasingly more violent and brazen,” Bianco said. “It’s not just one isolated place. It’s across the country.”

Violent crime increased about 5.6% in California from 2020 to 2021, according to state data. Attacks on police officers also appear to be on the rise.

In 2022, 64 officers across the U.S. were shot and killed in the line of duty, according to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund. That figure is far below historic averages in the late 20th century, when shooting fatalities reached triple digits.

But yearly officer slayings had dipped to the low 50s in the 2010s, according to the nonprofit, which said the recent increase represents a “disturbing trend.”

The number of officers shot surged from 237 in 2018 to 346 in 2021, according to National Fraternal Order of Police estimates. The first three weeks of 2023 saw a further 33% increase from the same period in 2021, the NFOP reported.

WHY SHERIFF BIANCO SAYS CRIMINALS HAVE BECOME ‘EMBOLDENED’:

California sheriff: Criminals getting more brazen, violent Video

WATCH MORE FOX NEWS DIGITAL ORIGINALS HERE

While it’s difficult to pinpoint a cause, Bianco places the blame on efforts to “decriminalize everything” and lower penalties for some offenses. He also criticized politicians from the federal level down, saying they demonize police.

“When they ridicule police and when they blame police for things … [criminals] get more emboldened,” he said.

Suspects are now more likely to run or resist arrest, Bianco said. One of his own deputies was fatally shot during a traffic stop in late December, leading to a massive manhunt for the suspect.

“Our police and our deputies are far more likely to be involved in use-of-force situations than when I was a deputy,” he said. “And it’s solely because of the resistance from the people that we’re trying to arrest.”

Riverside County deputy Isaiah Cordero was shot and killed Dec. 29, 2022, during an attempted traffic stop. He was one of more than 60 law enforcement officers shot and killed in the line of duty last year.

Riverside County deputy Isaiah Cordero was shot and killed Dec. 29, 2022, during an attempted traffic stop. He was one of more than 60 law enforcement officers shot and killed in the line of duty last year. (Riverside County Sheriff’s Office/Facebook)

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Criminal suspects now “have absolutely zero respect” for people, life and law enforcement, Bianco continued.

“So we come in contact with them, the chances that they are going to fight with us in an attempt to get away are more likely to happen than not happen,” he said.

To hear more from Bianco, click here.

Ramiro Vargas contributed to the accompanying video.

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