San Francisco Mayor London Breed announces budget proposal prioritizing public safety
SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) — Just three days after a contentious meeting of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors outside UN Plaza where someone threw a brick into the crowd, the Mayor of London Breed announces plans to increase public safety in the city of San Francisco.
Mayor Breed says she is doing everything she can to help businesses survive and thrive in the city.
As Breed toured small retail stores around Noe Valley on Friday, she acknowledged more help was needed to keep business owners and residents safe.
Breed said the budget she is proposing would include more money to improve staffing at the San Francisco Police Department. She says the applications are coming in and now it’s a matter of finding the right candidates.
“Our target for the next two years based on our numbers, based on the new information we have so far – we expect to have at least 220 new officers in the field.”
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However, the San Francisco Police Department has lost up to 500 officers and more may retire in the coming months.
The mayor said she is also providing more support for police officers by adding 22 more civilian positions.
“They’re going to replace officers who are on the inside, inside, doing paperwork, so those officers can get out on the street,” Breed said.
“The other thing we do with our retired police officers who are ambassadors – we help move them to areas where they can be useful to be eyes and ears on the streets.”
San Francisco residents say things are slowing down. But they are hoping for change that will lead to safer streets and a return to business.
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“I’ve been here for about 10 years. We need more businesses in the area,” said Tanya Lavelle of San Francisco. “Downtown near Union Square, a lot of businesses are gone. It’s not quite what it used to be.”
The mayor responds to these concerns.
“I know people want to see something happen now. Something is happening now. It’s just not happening as fast as people want it to.” Race said. “I know with the proposed changes and a lot of things that we’re going to do, we’re going to see a difference.”
Regarding the problem of fentanyl, the mayor believes that tougher penalties are needed.
“I think there has to be some level of accountability. Right now people aren’t afraid to sell fentanyl. We need to change that,” Breed said.
MORE: Hope — and a bit of skepticism — as fentanyl crackdown begins in SF’s Tenderloin
The mayor explained how she plans to pay for additional police and civilian personnel.
“We made reductions in all of our different departments. We looked at reservations, department reductions overall,” Breed said.
Mayor Breed also spoke about the help from the opioid settlement money.
“We’ve been able to redirect those resources. So with behavior centers, thought-provoking beds, and things that we’ve come up with to help us through this challenge, we’ve shifted the resources out of this settlement and we’re did what we had to do to get to a good place,” Breed said.
We reached out to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors for a response to the mayor’s comments. They say they are waiting for additional details on specific budget proposals from the mayor.
“I’m really confident in what we plan to deliver,” Breed said. “We are not aggressively drawing on reserves. Everyone has had to make sacrifices in this budget cycle.”
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