Today, Supervisor Stefani held a hearing on San Francisco Police Department (SFPD) staffing, demand for service, recruitment and retention at the Public Safety and Neighborhood Services Committee and revealed that the department is currently 570 officers short of the level necessary to meet the demand for service.
The City currently has 1,612 sworn full duty officers currently staffed, which is 570 officers below the necessary staffing level identified in an independent study from 2020. If these trends continue, this deficit will grow to over 700 by the end of the fiscal year.
“We cannot meet the demand for service, implement necessary criminal justice reforms, or protect our most vulnerable residents without adequate police staffing, and the public suffers as a result,” said Supervisor Stefani. According to the San Francisco Chronicle, over the last two years, burglaries have increased by approximately 40 percent in San Francisco, and some neighborhoods have seen increases as high as 78 percent.
The study revealed that nearly 80 percent of officer time was committed to responding to emergency 911 calls, which means that the SFPD cannot properly staff crime prevention efforts. Preventative measures, like foot beat patrols, are essential to establishing visibility, building community relations, and deterring crime.
“For more than two years, we’ve known that our patrol staffing levels were severely inadequate, and that needs to change,” Stefani said, “San Francisco isn’t alone when it comes to staffing challenges. The Oakland city council recently passed legislation authorizing two more academy classes, and is also considering expanding incentive pay. San Francisco needs to follow suit, or we will fall dangerously behind.”
Supervisor Stefani was joined by the Hotel Council, UNITE HERE Local 2, the SF Building & Construction Trades Council, and I.A.T.S.E Local 16 in calling for the City to fully fund the resources necessary to staff the SFPD.
Stefani continued, “We cannot continue to turn a blind eye to the conditions in our city or ignore the thousands of San Franciscans who call 911 in crisis every single day. I remain committed to ensuring our public safety agencies are staffed and prepared for the challenges of the 21st century. San Franciscans deserve nothing less.”