Democratic San Francisco Mayor London Breed said Thursday she would put forward a $25 million new police funding measure, acknowledging the San Francisco Police Department’s (SFPD) staffing shortage.
Breed declared plans in her State of City Address to introduce “a $25 million dollar budget supplemental to fund overtime and keep our officers walking beats, making drug arrests, and addressing retail theft,” lamenting that the SPD was “still years away” from full staffing. Crime has increased in San Francisco after Breed pledged to redirect millions of dollars in funding originally meant for the department.
“I want to make one thing very clear: I am NOT okay with open-air drug dealing in this City. Period,” Breed said. “Yes, we are pushing innovative programs to get people into care and treatment, including working to open overdose prevention programs…but we need to enforce the law. Likewise, home and business break-ins require a TIMELY police response, an investigation, and an arrest.”
San Francisco’s serious crime index increased by roughly 5.7% overall in 2022 compared to 2021, a year that saw a 13.6% rise over 2020, SFPD data shows. Police reported in mid-January that 267 of the department’s funded positions were unfilled, and City Supervisor Matt Dorsey claimed days later that only 1,537 of SFPD’s around 1,923 sworn officers were currently full-duty, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.
“Our residents are demanding we build back the police force, and we need to deliver,” Breed said Thursday. “The push for full staffing has to be consistent and it has to be sustained.”
Breed announced in 2020 that the city was redirecting $120 million in law enforcement funding to the black community in the next two years, unveiling a spending plan for those funds the following February.
Breed thanked voters Thursday for electing District Attorney Brooke Jenkins and praised her for “combatting open-air drug dealing,” “taking on the perpetrators of gun violence” and “prosecuting hate crimes.”
Jenkins was elected in November after Breed appointed her the interim replacement of former District Attorney Chesa Boudin, who was recalled from office in mid-2022. Boudin ended cash bail and the prosecution of minors as adults in San Francisco, and critics argued he was not aggressive enough in criminal prosecution, according to CBS News.
The SFPD did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.
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