San Francisco Mayor London Breed introduced a new ballot measure on Tuesday that offers more police power.
According to the mayor’s office, the measure, dubbed “Safer San Francisco,” intends to remove obstacles that make it more difficult for the police department to do their jobs.
“Safer San Francisco will put public safety first and put SFPD officers in position to better serve our communities,” according to Breed’s office.
The measure is to give officers access to better technology and reduce paperwork so they can spend more time on the streets.
The measure would also prevent the City’s Police Commission “from prioritizing ideology before community safety,” according to the mayor.
“We need to give our officers the tools necessary to keep our communities safe and not leave them stuck behind a desk when they can be out on the street helping people,” said Mayor London Breed. “There has been too much focus on adding bureaucracy to the work our officers do and putting up barriers to new technologies that can help improve policing in San Francisco. It’s time to change that. We can pass this measure, while still keeping important reforms in place, so that we put community safety at the forefront of our work.”
The measure would allow police to utilize technology, including cameras and drones that can be used to investigate and solve crimes.
The measure also aims to reduce administrative and paperwork officers must do and give them more leeway to pursue suspects of felonies and violent misdemeanors like retail theft, vehicle theft, and auto burglaries, as long as the pursuit can be conducted safely.
Lastly, the measure would require the city’s police commission to engage with local merchants, neighborhood leaders, and retired police officers to make the changes.
The mayor’s statement accuses the police commission of governing “by ideology, rather than putting the interests of public safety or policing best practices first.”
The mayor’s statement says that the police commission micromanages the police department and is “adversarial to policy solutions supported by community safety leaders.”
Mayor Breed intends to sign the measure onto the March 2024 ballot, where it would need a simple majority to be passed into law.