San Francisco Mayor Mark Farrell has pledged that one of his main priorities while in office will be to strengthen the city’s police department. In order to do this, the mayor is proposing a new budget that will include an additional $34.2 million in spending for law enforcement.
Most of the money will be spent on hiring additional police officers for the force. $22 million will go to adding 225 officers. The hiring will take place over a four year period. In addition to the new officers on the street, the funds will also pay for 25 civilian employees. These civilians will work in jobs that are now held by officers. By moving civilians into these positions, an additional 25 officers will be back out on patrol.
In addition to spending on new personnel, the budget will allow for the purchase of new police vehicles. $7.5 million will go towards the department obtaining 130 new vehicles over the course of the next two years.
$3 million will be spent on the purchase of tasers. The rest of the funds will go to funding items such as computer database upgrades and additional administrative items.
The mayor is hopeful that more officers on the street will help to reduce crime within San Francisco. In the last year, the city has seen a significant increase the number of crimes committed against property. The main criminal activity has been people breaking into automobiles. There were 30,000 car burglaries last year. Less than two percent of these crimes were ever solved by the police.
The additional officers on the street will also help with homelessness problems within the city. The city runs the Healthy Streets Operations Center. Part of this center’s mission is to respond to complaints that residents have concerning homeless people in a given area. More officers will allow for quicker response times.