SF Mayor Suggests Increased Police Funding in Budget Plan


San Francisco Mayor London Breed unveiled a budget proposal on Thursday that fulfills a campaign promise to bolster police staffing, despite grappling with a nearly $800 million two-year budget deficit. 

Breed, who faces a challenging reelection in November, has proposed increasing the police department’s budget by $46.7 million to a historic $821.6 million. Her plan requires approval from the Board of Supervisors, a hurdle given that several progressive members have previously resisted increased police spending. 

From left, San Francisco Board of Supervisors President Aaron Peskin, Mayor London Breed, and Speaker Emerita Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) walk to a news conference in San Francisco, Friday, Jan. 26, 2024. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)

The San Francisco Police Department currently falls about 500 officers short of the level recommended by an independent staffing analysis. 

Breed aims to fund four police academy classes of 50 recruits each over the next year, doubling the previous 25-person classes. She has vowed to allocate more funds if SFPD recruitment exceeds these levels. Additionally, her budget includes $3.7 million for new technology for the department.

“We have made real progress on public safety in San Francisco,” Breed stated, outlining her proposal. “One of the core responsibilities of city government is to keep our residents, businesses, workers, and visitors safe, and my budget will deliver on that commitment. What we are doing is working, and we will build on that.”

Breed’s announcement precedes her unveiling of a plan to address the substantial budget shortfall the city is facing over the next two years, a balancing act she has acknowledged will involve “difficult choices and cuts” to other programs.

Six months ago, Breed instructed departments to brace for a 10% spending reduction, with an additional 5% “contingency reduction,” following a sluggish recovery from the pandemic.

Breed’s political opponents have criticized her crime reduction efforts but also vowed to increase law enforcement staffing. They highlight San Francisco’s economic decline, which includes a downturn in the downtown area as major businesses like Macy’s close.

Homelessness, drug issues, and retail theft continue to trouble the city. 

“Do San Franciscans believe they have gotten $2.5 billion worth of extra spending given the conditions on our streets?” former Supervisor Mark Farrell, one of Breed’s moderate opponents, questioned, referring to the city’s spending on homelessness. “I think not.” 

Another mayoral contender, Daniel Lurie, accused Breed of squandering “a decade of boom years,” the San Francisco Standard reported.

“That’s what happens when budgets are designed around political allegiances rather than achieving outcomes for San Franciscans,” he stated. 

Barnini Chakraborty
Barnini Chakraborty
Senior Investigations Reporter. Barnini Chakraborty has previously worked at Fox News as a senior features and politics reporter. She's also worked at Fox Business as a field producer and at Dow Jones. She began her career at the Augusta Chronicle in Georgia.

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