San Francisco considers raises for police officers
San Francisco Mayor London Breed introduced legislation Tuesday to approve a new police contract that would raise salaries in an effort to address the city's dwindling number of officers.
Why it matters: San Francisco has 331 fewer officers today than in 2019 and many in service are eligible for retirement, according to the mayor's office. The city sees the proposed contract as a "significant step" in its efforts to recruit and retain police officers.
What's happening: The tentative agreement reached this week between the city and the San Francisco Police Officers Association would increase SFPD starting salaries by 10.75% over three years, resulting in the highest starting salary of any police department in the Bay Area.
- The current starting salary for a new SFPD officer is $103,116, according to the police department. That figure would rise to $114,201 after three years.
- The agreement would also give 3% raises to officers at five, seven and eight years of service.
What they're saying: San Francisco District 6 Supervisor Matt Dorsey, a former communications director for the SFPD, said in a text message to Axios that the proposed raises will make law enforcement jobs in San Francisco more attractive during a time when "police recruitment is more competitive than I've seen it at any time in my career."
- It will be hard to solve the city's public safety issues "if we don't solve our police understaffing crisis first," he said.
The other side: District 5 Supervisor Dean Preston criticized the proposal, saying in an email to Axios that it creates "massive giveaways" with "no accountability" and offers increases to police "far in excess of what any other City worker gets."
Between the lines: Also Tuesday, Breed called on the city's Board of Supervisors to pass legislation that would approve a $27.6 million budget supplemental to fund police overtime and prevent hiring freezes through the end of June.
- Breed said the budget request was necessary to maintain basic police staffing levels.
- "If you think it's challenging to get police officers in this community now, it will be virtually impossible" if the Board of Supervisors doesn't approve it, she said.
Of note: San Francisco is projecting a $728 million deficit over the next two fiscal years, and the mayor has already asked city departments to slash their budgets by at least 5%.
- A spokesperson for the mayor's office said it's unlikely that SFPD will be included in those cuts.
What's next: The Board of Supervisors' government audit and oversight committee must approve the contract proposal, and then it would be sent to the full board for consideration.
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