San Francisco Board of Supervisors Approve 220 new SFPD officers in City Budget
‘We’re trying to stop the bleeding here’
By Evan Symon, July 21, 2022 2:30 am
The San Francisco Board of Supervisors voted 10-1 Tuesday to approve a two-year, $14 billion budget that includes the hiring of 220 police officers to fill vacancies within the San Francisco Police Department, and to help combat the high crime rate within the city.
The subject of whether to expand or contract the SFPD has polarized many in the city the last few years. In 2020 and early 2021, those opposed to police expansion won several battles in the city, especially in the wake of the George Floyd Protests during the summer of 2020. Cuts were announced due to the public backlash as well as a massive city budget deficit, with the force looking to contract by as much as 11%.
However, in 2021, things quickly turned the other way. Crime rates continued to shoot up, culminating with a large number of daylight, high-profile robberies in the city in November, including the infamous Union Square robberies. At the same time, the DA’s office refusal to prosecute a growing number of criminals led to DA Chesa Boudin facing a recall election. A growing number of people in the city asked for a greater police presence despite defunding measures underway.
In 2022, the tide continued to turn against defunding and crime in the city. Mayor London Breed reversed many of her stances to favor the police, including initiating crackdowns in the crime-ridden Tenderloin District. In June, Boudin was recalled by a large majority of voters, with his replacement, Brooke Jenkins, quickly undoing many of his policies, including choosing to prosecute more and more drug arrests.
With the need for more SFPD officers, Mayor Breed proposed increasing police officers in the new city budget. That finally came to fruition on Tuesday during the budget approval vote, with 220 new officers approved.
“We still have a ways to go before we can really say San Francisco is coming back,” noted Frank Ma, a former law enforcement official who now works as a security advisor for businesses in San Francisco and around the Bay area, to the Globe on Wednesday. “But it seems like every week we are seeing positive steps to getting a handle on things in the city. We have leaders who aren’t tolerating drug use any more and we have leaders who want to go after criminals again, who actually care about law and order. Even Breed, who two years ago looked to be in the same cut as people like Boudin, is veering more and more away from that. Rationality is returning.”
A spokesman for the Mayor, Jeff Cretan, put the situation more succinctly last month when they stated that “We’re trying to stop the bleeding here,”
Despite nearly all the Supervisors voting in favor of the budget and the additional police hirings, Dean Preston, found the funding unnecessary and would not do anything to counter the crime in the city.
“It is a massive, unnecessary and counterproductive increase in police funding,” said Preston.
The new officers are expected to slowly come onto the force in the coming months.
2 thoughts on “San Francisco Board of Supervisors Approve 220 new SFPD officers in City Budget”
Have the knuckle-head BoS politicians in SF finally started to listen to the people? Looks like a clear message has been received and they have all (except one) now decided to “Back the Blue”. Amazing what a couple of successful recall votes can do.
Glad to see this move toward sanity in SF. Very good news.