SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (KRON) — The vast majority of San Franciscans feel that crime and homelessness have gotten way worse, according to a poll released today by the city’s Chamber of Commerce.
Those polled also want to see more cops on the streets — and more direct services for the unsheltered.
This comes as homeless advocates are pushing to redirect money away from SFPD.
Mayor London Breed addressed a room full of new recruits at the police academy.
In her new budget, she’s calling to increase police funding in order to have four more academy classes over the next two years — which would bring on a total of 200 new cops to help fill in the ranks of a department which typically loses 80 officers a year due to attrition.
She’s also looking in the next budget to increase overtime, which her office says is needed to increase extra foot patrols.
“We need more police officers walking the beat in a lot of the commercial corridor’s of the city and in areas where we have large numbers of residents and visitors,” she said. “And I just don’t have a sufficient supply to meet the needs of the city and apparently most San Franciscans agree.”
A recent San Francisco Chamber of Commerce poll found residents think crime, homelessness and quailty of life are getting worse in the city.
And what do those polled think should do about it?
Most said addressing homelessness, increasing police officers in high crime neighborhoods and maintaining funding for police academy classes should be a high priority.
Budget negotiations are underway at city hall where the Coalition on Homelessness rallied outside to push their plan. They are calling for $6.8 million to be diverted away from the police budget to create teams of trained civilians to respond to low level non violent calls such as a person sleeping in a doorway.
“We have to do things differently in order to reduce police violence in our communities we have to reduce unnecessary police interactions and one big structural approach for that response is to any police response to homelessness and when someone is in trouble,” community activist Vinny Eng said.
“This city is making significant investment in alternatives to policing,” Breed said.
The mayor points to the street crisis response team as a non police response to mentally disturbed people already on the streets and is looking to fund more street teams in the next budget to help address the homelessness crisis without involving law enforcement — which would focus on wellness checks and the overdose crisis.
The city’s proposed $13 billion annual budget is up for public comment Friday.