Burglaries skyrocket almost 343% after San Francisco ‘police reforms’, massive police budget cuts

SAN FRANCISCO, CA – Since Mayor London Breed (D) announced police reforms in June which prohibited police officers from responding to “non-left threatening” incidents, crime has spiraled out of control in the Richmond District.

Robberies, assaults, and other crimes have increased dramatically, and burglaries have surged 342.9% from last year.

Since the beginning of the year, data from the SFPD indicates that there were 124 burglaries as of February 14.

For the same time period in 2020, there were only 28 burglaries.

City wide, burglaries were up 62.5% with 1,123 burglaries this year for the same time period, as opposed to 691 in 2020.

In the Richmond District, there were 21 robberies as of February 14 representing a 90.9% increase from the 11 last year. Assaults are up 0%, motor vehicle thefts up 58.3%, and arsons are up 25% this year.

The crime rate increases follow reforms announced in June, when Mayor Breed said that police would no longer respond to non-criminal calls as part of a restructuring of the police department. In a new release issued by the Mayor, she said:

“San Francisco has made progress reforming our police department, but we know that we still have significant work to do. We know that a lack of equity in our society overall leads to a lot of the problems that police are being asked to solve.

“We are going to keep pushing for additional reforms and continue to find ways to reinvest in communities that have historically been underserved and harmed by systemic racism.”

Under the reforms, Breed said calls that did not involve a threat to public safety would be handled by trained, unarmed professionals in order to limit unnecessary confrontations between police and the community.

The reforms followed nationwide protests and riots that spread across the nation following the death of George Floyd in May 2020. Connecting the reforms to the protests, Breed said:

“For too long, black people have been subjected to violence at the hands of people in power. Now is the time when we can make sure that these demonstrations that we see are translated into real action.”

SFPD Chief Bill Scott supported the Mayor’s plan saying the reforms are necessary to fight systemic racism in law enforcement:

“The initiatives Mayor Breed is announcing today are consistent with our department’s commitment to the Collaborative Reform Initiative and our aspiration to make the San Francisco Police Department a national model in 21st Century policing.

“We understand that it’s necessary for law enforcement to listen to the African American community and embrace courageous changes to address disparate policing practices, and we recognize it will take sacrifice on our part to fulfill the promise of reform.”

The reforms included barring the police from using “military-grade weapons,” increase accountability for bias in the department, and redirect police funding toward programs and organizations serving the communities that have “been systematically harmed by past city policies.”

Non-criminal calls defined by the new reforms include neighbor disputes, homeless person calls, and school interventions, among other types of incidents.

In addition to the reforms, Breed announced a $120 million police budget cut over the next two years. She said the cuts were necessary because of the city had a budget deficit projection of $653.2 million over the next two years. The Mayor blamed the shortfall on the pandemic and slow growth on “slower than expected revenue growth, costs for employee salaries and benefits, and additional costs to respond to COVID-19.” Mayor Breed issued a statement reading:

The challenges facing our City in the months and years ahead are significant, and we have a lot of hard choices to make to get our City back on the road to recovery. Closing this deficit will not be easy, and it’s going to require tough choices and real tradeoffs.

“While this pandemic will continue to slow our recovery, I know we can do the hard work to get this City moving forward.”

Discussing the crime rate spike, SFPD Spokesman Michael Andraychak told The Chronicle:

“The department has seen an increase in burglaries across the city, particularly after the COVID-19 shelter in place orders took effect. We are seeing a trend of garage burglaries in which bicycles are being stolen.”

Police department statistics show that burglary increases were common regardless of the type of burglary attempted. There were 26 attempted forced entry burglaries this year as opposed to 1 by this time last year. There were 56 forcible entry burglaries as opposed to 12 in 2021.

Likewise, there have been 30 unlawful entries in 2021 as opposed to 11 last year.

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San Francisco to turn over 17 types of calls to ‘unarmed civilian response teams’, delays pay raises for officers

December 23, 2021

SAN FRANCISCO, CA- The San Francisco Police Officers Association (POA) has reportedly signed off on a plan to delay pay raises for its officers and to turn over 17 different types of calls that will instead be handled by unarmed civilian service providers.

The POA’s endorsement comes just a few weeks after San Francisco voters passed legislation eliminating minimum staffing requirements for the San Francisco Police Department (SFPD). The law, which required the city to maintain at least 1,971 full-time police officers, which was approved in Proposition E, has been squashed by voters.

Now, the staffing levels on the police department will be decided by elected novices, many likely with political agendas. The proposition tasks the police commission with evaluating police staffing levels on a regular basis and to adjust the numbers accordingly.

Ahead of that vote, the union argued that the department has been chronically understaffed as of late and was already struggling to cover calls. At the time, POA Vice President Sergeant Tracy McCray told the San Francisco Chronicle:

“Our response times to 911 calls are lagging because we don’t have enough people on patrol.”

At the end of November, Mayor London Breed announced the launch of the first phase of San Francisco’s Street Crisis Response Team (SCRT) pilot program. SCRT is part of the city’s efforts to develop alternatives to police responses to non-violent calls.

The SCRT pilot program is a collaboration between the San Francisco Department of Public Health and the San Francisco Fire Department with support from the Department of Emergency Management. Reportedly, each team includes a community paramedic, a behavioral health clinician, and a behavioral health peer specialist.

Veteran officers have been leaving the city’s police department in record numbers over the past several months, with many opting to take jobs in other areas. POA President Tony Montoya said in a statement earlier this month:

“The reality is, our staffing is not getting any better.”

In response, Montoya signed a letter of intent with city officials, clearing the way for calls involving mental health, non-violent crimes, and homelessness to be handled by civilian service providers. The letter said, in part:

“Currently, police officers are the initial responders and primary resource on certain calls for service that may be better suited to mental health or non-law enforcement professionals.”

Reportedly, juvenile disturbances, quality-of-life calls, traffic congestion, public health violations, dog complaints, and parking violations will also be addressed by the unarmed citizen responders. Montoya said that officers have been spending a significant amount of time dealing with those types of calls. He said:

“This will be better use of the limited resources we have. It’s going to free up more officers to do what traditionally police officers should be doing.”

Days after Montoya issued the “collaboration agreement letter,” the San Francisco Board of Supervisors voted 9-2 in favor of delaying the SFPD’s upcoming pay increases. Reportedly, officers will receive steeper raises in the future as a result of the two-year labor contract.

Critics of the contract claim that the agreement does “nothing to address the POA’s unrelenting history of delaying much needed reforms.” While the contract may have fell short for these critics, the POA did reach two agreements.

One being the union agreeing to police redirecting 17 types of calls for service to mental health or other professional. The agreement said, in part:

“The SFPOA intends and agrees to work collaboratively with the City to develop and accelerate implementation of specific reforms, including those that address police biases and strengthen accountability.”

The other agreement, signed by both the Department of Human Resources and the POA, is meant to clarify a contentious section of the contract that requires the City to notify the union of management decisions that affect officers. The agreement reads, in part:

“This MOU provision does not expand the City’s bargaining requirements.”


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Author: Scott A. Davis

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