Budget proposal may hold SFPD funding on quarterly basis

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San Francisco's Board of Supervisors is debating the city's proposed budget for the fiscal year, which begins next month. (KGO-TV)

San Francisco's Board of Supervisors is debating the city's proposed budget for the fiscal year, which begins next month.

One lawmaker wants to attach strings to a portion of the money for the police department. It would be done on a quarterly basis.

Two separate demonstrations on Tuesday over fatal police shootings in San Francisco indicate the scrutiny the department is under.

The Mario Woods case in particular is leading to reforms. But San Francisco Supervisor John Avalos believes there has not been enough transparency and he wants a portion of the San Francisco Police Department budget held in reserve until quarterly reports are made. "The police department should put their best foot forward about how they are working to build trust with our communities. If they refuse to actually share that report, then they won't get their money," he said.

He recommends withholding $30 million, with $10 million released each time police brass come before the board.

Business groups including the chamber of commerce believe that could mean cancelling academy classes or reducing staffing levels for emergencies. "This is not just a political trick that has little impact on the public safety of the citizens of San Francisco. This has real impact on day one," San Francisco Chamber of Commerce spokesperson Jim Lazarus said.

And Lazarus said the supervisors already have the authority to demand reports. "This is serious, it's an unnecessary," he said.

But the supervisor points out that a police report due at the end of last month is late. "Clearly the police department is not living up to the standards that are set for it about being transparent," Avalos said.

The total police department budget proposed for the new fiscal year is nearly $578 million.
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