Lawmakers to have final say on San Francisco police budget cut proposal

Bay Area

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (KRON) – Mayor London Breed’s budget office asked all department heads to see if they can find money that can be cut from their budgets, to help offset the fiscal impact of COVID-19. 

The chief of police says any additional cuts will be devastating for his department.

“The majority of our budget is personnel staffing, and we’ve cut pretty much everything we can cut,” Chief William Scott said. 

However, the chief of the San Francisco Police Department William Scott has been asked by the mayor’s budget office to see if he can trim close to $37-million-dollars more.

“Which will equate, because we’ve cut everything we can cut, in a reduction and a loss of 210 full-time employees. What you see highlighted in red are the stations that will be impacted the most. I am not supportive of these cuts. They will be devastating to the police department,” Scott said. 

That was the chief’s assessment during his budget proposal presentation at this recent San Francisco Police Commission meeting.

“I have a hard problem just accepting there’s a correlation when data suggests or demonstrates otherwise,” John Hamasaki said. 

Police Commissioner John Hamasaki came away from the chief’s presentation feeling he needed more data to see if there is a direct impact between reducing the budget and public safety.

When asked if he is in favor of these budget cuts, Hamasaki responded:

“I am in favor of reallocating and reimagining public safety in San Francisco. Ultimately that’s going to mean budget cuts. The data that we were presented last night was not full enough to make that determination.” 

The police commission, in their advisory role, rejected the chief’s budget cut proposal.

Ultimately, the Board of Supervisors and the mayor’s office will have the final say on any cuts to the police department.

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