San Francisco leaders have approved a new contract with police, making the city’s police department one of the highest paying departments in the Bay Area.
The goal is to attract more officers, but some community organizers believe adding more cops won’t make the city safer.
In a 10-1 vote, San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors approved a new contract with San Francisco police. It includes a number of incentives that are aimed at increasing and retaining officers.
One of those incentives? Offering a nearly 11% increase in salary over a three-year span for new officers.
SFPD said it’s the highest entry-level salary package in the region with the annual starting salary at $103,000.
San Francisco Supervisor Joel Engardio voted in favor of the new contract.
“We need to do whatever we can to attract new people to come to San Francisco and be a police officer here,” he said.
Engardio said the police department is understaffed with San Francisco police saying they’re down nearly 600 officers. He views the lack of police presence around the city as a public safety issue and he’s not alone.
“Residents in my neighborhood are always asking for more police officers…walking the beat…and that’s just a luxury right now,” he said.
“More police do not increase public safety,” said Cat Brooks, executive director of the Anti-Terror Police Project.
Brooks said that she feels the city could make better use of its money to address public safety.
San Francisco recently approved $25 million in funding to San Francisco police to cover overtime pay due to staffing shortages.
“Investing in things like housing, living wage jobs. Those things actually increase public safety,” she said.
But Engardio believes there’s a middle ground and thinks the city can tackle multiple issues at the same time.
“We need a certain number of police officers and we can do what’s necessary to address all the societal problems that should not involve police officers,” he said.
Source: NBC Bay Area
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