Mayor Lee Announces Long Term & Comprehensive Hiring Plan for City’s Police & Fire

Mayor’s Proposed Two-Year Budget Increases Public Safety & Lays Foundation for Long-Term Staffing for Police & Fire Departments

5/30/12—Mayor Edwin M. Lee today joined Police Chief Greg Suhr and Fire Chief Joanne Hayes-White to announce a multi-year comprehensive staffing plan to increase the number of uniformed men and women to protect the community and serve San Francisco’s neighborhood residents.

The San Francisco Police Department (SFPD) six-year hiring plan will satisfy the City Charter mandated 1,971 full duty officers. In the Mayor’s proposed two year budget, SFPD will hold six Police Academy classes and hire 300 officers (50 per class) over the next two years. SFPD will continue to hire three classes of 50 officers over the next six-year period and is anticipated to reach the City Charter mandate of 1,971 full duty officers by June 2018.

In the next six years, the San Francisco Fire Department (SFFD) will hold six Fire Academy classes and one Emergency Medical Technicians class to restore staffing levels in order to use less overtime.

“The dedicated men and women of the Police and Fire departments represent the best of our City,” said Mayor Lee. “We have brought the City’s violent crime rates to historic lows and implemented innovative crime prevention strategies to keep San Francisco the safest big City in our country. We must plan for the police force of the future to ensure we maintain these results. We are committed to funding more training classes and hiring additional fire personnel to respond to fires and other emergencies.”

The SFPD experienced a large number of retirements in recent years. With the expiration of the Deferred Retirement Option Program (DROP), the Department anticipates significant retirements in FY 2012-13 and FY 2013-14. To address attrition, the Department’s six-year hiring plan will gradually increase the number of new officers on the force. The City will conduct three General Fund supported Police Academy classes of 50 recruits each year, in order to backfill retirements and increase the size of the force, which has decreased in recent years. In FY 2012-13, the Airport will also fund a class of 30 recruits to address increased needs. The hiring plan also includes an increase in civilian hiring, which will ensure that there is adequate staff in non-sworn functions. Over the next two fiscal years, 50 of these hires will allow the Department to move officers currently performing administrative functions out onto the streets.

Like SFPD, the San Francisco Fire Department has also experienced a large number of retirements in recent years. Over the next six years, SFFD will hold six Fire Academy classes for entry level firefighters to restore staffing levels due to retired personnel. The additional firefighters will help the department use less overtime. In addition, SFFD will hold one Level 1 Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) class, which will begin in July. This is particularly important because the Fire Department recently had its ambulance system Exclusive Operating Area Rights restored by the State of California, which includes a requirement that the SFFD provide 80-90 percent of 911 emergency transports in San Francisco.