San Francisco, which announced support for defunding the police after the death of George Floyd, is now trying to recruit cops — from Texas.
In July 2020, Mayor London Breed announced that $120 million would be cut from the police and sheriff’s departments. “Reforming our criminal justice system must go hand-in-hand with policy changes and budget investments to make our city more equitable,” she said. “By redirecting funding from law enforcement agencies back into the African American community, we are putting our words into action, and we are doing it by listening to a community that for too long has been unheard and underserved.”
A subsequent soaring in property crime rate forced Breed to reverse course and the police budget was actually increased.
This month the city’s police department is visiting four Texas university campuses: Texas Southern University, Sam Houston State University, Prairie View A&M University, and Texas A&M University. The purpose is to recruit prospective cops. This will reportedly be the first time prospective candidates are tested out of California, according to the San Francisco Standard.
Because of staffing shortages, overtime has increased dramatically; overtime hours soared 54% between 2021 and 2022. According to Supervisor Matt Dorsey, a former police communications staffer, the police departments full-duty police officers have been reduced by 335 from 2017. The city had 1,537 officers as of January; a police staffing analysis estimated the city needed more than 2,100 officers to work properly.
This week, the San Francisco Deputy Sheriff’s Association accused Breed of stealthily defunding the department, saying it discovered at a labor management meeting that San Francisco had initiated cuts to the sheriff’s budget. The association claimed that when it queried the city as to why, the city said it was broke.
“We want to be part of the solution, but time and time again, the mayor seems to block the sheriff from doing that. And this is another example. She’s cut the funding for those items and it almost seems like silent defunding, you know? For us and we’re trying to help,” Ken Lomba, president of the San Francisco Deputy Sheriff’s Association, stated.