News Releases
The latest news and announcements from Mayor London N. Breed

Mayor Lee Announces $17.5 Million in Investments in Comprehensive Police Reforms & Violence Prevention

City Moves Forward on Reforms & Violence Prevention Initiatives to Build Community Trust, Oversight, Increase Safety for City’s Residents & Police Officers

San Francisco, CA—Mayor Edwin M. Lee today announced a $17.5 million police reform package to fund comprehensive police reforms to increase public safety and build greater trust between police officers and the community including increased oversight, transparency and accountability and including violence prevention programming as part of the Mayor’s Fiscal Years 2016-17 and 2017-18 proposed balanced budget.

“These critical investments in funding police department reform, rebuilding community trust, and bringing a culture change in how we handle conflicts on our streets will help keep San Francisco one of the safest big cities in the nation,” said Mayor Lee. “We are working collaboratively with the community to develop a 21st Century approach to policing in San Francisco, improving leadership, transparency and accountability within the San Francisco Police Department and strengthening policies, procedures, training and equipment to keep both residents and police officers safe. We are working under the full review of the United States Department of Justice, the nation’s highest law enforcement authority.”

“Rebuilding the relationship of trust between community members and this Police Department will require sustained investments in new training, resources to improve oversight and an investment in the neighborhoods most impacted by violence,” said Police Commission President Suzy Loftus. “These resources will allow us to continue our critical work to build a 21st Century Police Department.”

In the wake of the Mario Woods shooting, last December, Mayor Lee directed the Police Commission and Department to present a new plan to fundamentally re-engineer the way police officers use force. New policies and initiatives train officers that proportionality is key in decision making – in particular when using force and that policies must put the sanctity of life at the center of every decision. The goal is to reduce up to 80 percent of officer involved shootings by training officers and equipping them with the tools they need.

Earlier this year, Mayor Lee announced a comprehensive package of police reforms to increase public safety, build greater trust between police officers and the community and make the department more responsive, transparent and accountable. These efforts to fundamentally re-engineer the way that police officers use force are wide-ranging, and include the creation of a new Bureau of Professional Standards & Principled Policing, major expansions to the Crisis Intervention Team network, new prohibitions on the use of firearms in specific circumstances, and a new Community Safety Initiative to recruit young people from San Francisco neighborhoods most impacted by violence to work with the Department to improve community trust.

Mayor Lee’s proposed budget includes $17.5 million over the next two years in new funding for oversight, violence prevention programming, and instituting police reforms.

Mayor Lee over the next two years is investing $11.3 million to increase programming for violence prevention and strengthening crisis response and outreach teams. Building capacity in impacted communities, the upcoming budget funds the creation and operation of the African American Violence Prevention Collaborative to ensure communities of color are at the forefront of the service delivery system providing oversight and guidance.

“Together with community, City government, our schools and law enforcement, we will make the impact needed to decrease violence, increase pride in communities and more importantly, increase the skills-sets of our young people so that they can remain economically self-sufficient and productive,” said YCD Executive Director and African American Prevention Collaborative Co-Lead Shamann Walton.

As part of the $11.3 million investment, $7.3 million over the next two years will provide pathways to permanent employment opportunities for high-risk young adults by expanding the successful IPO Employment Program to serve individuals up to the age of 35. This program provides employment opportunities coupled with educational, behavioral health, and barrier removal services to develop a strong workforce. Additionally, recognizing violence prone neighborhoods tragically suffer higher rates of homicides and shootings, the budget will include an increase of 20 percent for the City’s crisis response system over the next two years expanding the ability to provide critical services.

Mayor Lee’s police reform package also includes $4.4 million to the San Francisco Police Department for training, equipment and other needs. The training for police officers focuses on implicit bias, cultural competency, and crisis intervention and it will continue to enhance the existing police reforms underway. A key training program, Blue Courage, will offer a series of courses designed to cultivate an internal cultural change within the department by emphasizing the trust and honor of law enforcement officers. In addition to the training dollars, the City will spend $2.5 million during the next two fiscal years to invest in capital, equipment, and the building of less-lethal options for the San Francisco Police Department. This investment provides critical funding to enhance de-escalation techniques utilized by frontline law enforcement officers. Equipment includes piloting defensive shields, net guns, tasers, beanbag guns and defibrillators. This amount also includes bringing online and growing the department’s Body Camera Program over the next two years, which will equip every patrol officer with a body worn camera.

Also included in the reform package is an addition $1.8 million over the next two years for oversight at the Office of Citizen Complaints (OCC) to increase by five investigators, which increases the size of the investigative force by 25 percent and will reduce the median caseload per investigator. The additional staff will be responsible for responding to any additional mandates passed by the voters to investigate all officer involved shootings. Ultimately, the increased capacity will ensure a timely and thorough response to every officer involved shooting.