Proposition E

San Francisco Police Staffing

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Would amend the Charter to remove the minimum police staffing requirement, require the Police Department to submit a report and recommendation regarding police staffing levels every two years, and require the Police Commission to consider the report and recommendation when approving the department's proposed budget. Proposition E requires a simple majority (50% + 1) to pass.

Fiscal Impact: Would make it possible for the City to achieve cost savings in the annual budget process by allowing for reallocation of funding that is currently set aside to meet the minimum staffing requirement, and the Mayor and Board of Supervisors would have additional discretion to use some portion of this funding for any public purpose under the normal budgetary and fiscal provisions in the City Charter. The estimated annual salary and fringe benefit cost of a full duty sworn officer is approximately $155,000.

Next San Francisco County Measure: Proposition F

Details

Pro/Con
Pro: 

Proponents of Proposition E argue that the measure is necessary to remove the outdated mandatory minimum police staffing requirement and establish a regular process to set police staffing levels based on data and the needs of the communities. They argue that Proposition E would allow the Police Commission, with public input, to regularly assess how effective the department is in meeting the needs of the communities and to make changes to improve services.

A YES vote on this measure means: The City Charter would be amended to remove the requirement that the San Francisco Police Department maintain a minimum of 1,971 full-duty sworn police officers and replace the requirement with regular evaluations of police staffing levels.

Con: 

Opponents of Proposition E argue legislation making this change should be an ordinance, not requiring taxpayer costs for voters to amend the Charter as the population changes. They argue that the measure would allow the number of police officers serving in San Francisco neighborhoods to be cut.

A NO vote on this measure means: The requirement of a minimum of 1,971 full-duty sworn police officers would remain.

In Depth
Background

In 1994 San Francisco voters approved Proposition D, which set forth in the city charter a mandatory police department staffing level of 1,971 sworn officers. This requirement resulted from a 1979 class action settlement to address race and sex discrimination in the department. At the time of the settlement, the force of 1,670 had only 60 women and 200 Black, Asian, or Hispanic officers. The settlement required the police department to set a minimum staffing level of 1,971 officers and maintain that level for three years. It became part of the city charter in 1994 with the passage of the ballot measure.

Proposition E Proposal

If approved, Proposition E would remove the requirements that the Police Department maintain a minimum number of full-duty sworn police officers and a minimum number of full-duty sworn officers for neighborhood policing and replace those requirements with regular evaluations of police staffing levels.

The measure would require the Chief of Police to submit a report to the Police Commission at least every two years describing the current number of full-duty sworn officers and recommending future officer staffing levels. The report would include current overall staffing, the workload handled by the Police Department’s employees, the department’s public service objectives, the department’s legal duties, and other information the Chief of Police deemed relevant to determining proper staffing levels of full-duty sworn officers.

The measure would require the Police Commission to hold a public hearing on the report, and adopt a policy at least once every two years for the Chief of Police to use in evaluating staffing levels. It would further require the Police Commission to consider the staffing report in its approval of the Police Department’s proposed budget every fiscal year, but the Commission would not be required to accept or adopt any of the recommendations in the report.

Source: Legal Text of Proposition E and League of Women Voters of San Francisco Nonpartisan Analysis of Proposition E

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