San Francisco Police Chief Responds to DA’s Criticisms of Police Officers

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San Francisco Police Department Chief Bill Scott replied to District Attorney Chesa Boudin’s comments of the police not having a sufficient clearance rate as being an “inaccurate” statement.

In an interview, Boudin did not mince words when he shifted the blame of the rising number of violent crimes in the city to the police. He said officers were not doing their job properly, causing prosecutors to have a more difficult time with their processes.

Fingers Pointed

“When it comes to preventing crime, frankly we need to increase police clearance rates. Right now, police are only making arrests in about 10% of all reported crimes. There is no way we’re gonna lock up our way out of a problem when police are only clearing 10% of reported crimes,” Boudin said.

However, Chief Scott countered the DA’s comments on Tuesday. “It’s inaccurate. It’s a generalization that’s very inaccurate. And I think if we’re going to have a discussion about clearance rates, we should understand and help the public understand what we’re talking about. Homicides are much different than car break-ins,” he said.

Scott said the department’s clearance rates were very similar to other regions in the country. “Let’s start with the most serious crime of them all, homicides. Our clearance rate for homicides in 2019 was 100%. Our robbery clearance rates, usually around 30% year in, year out. Car burglaries? Our clearance rate is low. It’s usually 2% to 4%. That’s about average,” he noted.

The police chief said officers cooperate with prosecutors and sometimes do not agree on what route to take. He said both sides will recommend what they need to do and said there was already a firm line of communication between the two sides, CBS Local reported.

However, Boudin has since continued to criticize police as the frequency and severity of crimes increased across the city. “There is no way that any prosecutor can successfully prosecute a case if the police don’t make an arrest and do a good job investigating. It’s that simple,” he said.

Danielle Joyce Ong

Danielle is a local journalist with a passion for exploring stories related to crime and politics. When Danielle isn't busy writing or reading, she is usually exploring the great outdoors and all the hiking trails in the Bay.