Commission calls for probe into SFPD staffing
By Ari Burack
February 13, 2008
The San Francisco Police Commission tonight approved a resolution
calling for an independent review by the city controller of the
Police Department's ongoing effort to get more officers out of
desk jobs and patrolling the streets.
"We have insufficient staffing throughout the Police Department,"
Commissioner David Campos noted. "This is an effort to provide
the Police Department with as many officers on the street as possible."
The city is trying to further implement the civilianizing of
administrative and support positions held by full-time officers
in order to increase the number of officers in the field, reduce
expenditures by paying lower civilian salaries, and allow civilians
with better training to assume those positions.
Said Commissioner Thomas Mazzucco, "I think it's a waste
of our resources...to have officers doing administrative or civilian
jobs," rather than "the job that they're sworn to do."
Campos and other commissioners stressed that they were not criticizing
the Police Department's effort to civilianize, rather an "independent
review of these efforts," Campos said, would allow the "opportunity
to educate the whole city," including the Commission, the
Board of Supervisors and the public.
"I think it's valuable to have a third party look at these
with fresh eyes," added Commission President Theresa Sparks.
A handful of residents who identified themselves as living in
the Bernal Heights district, spoke to the Commission in support
of the resolution, citing a recent rise in violent crime in the
area, including robberies at gunpoint and break-ins.
"We'd like to see as many officers as possible out on the
street," one man pleaded.