SF mayor proposes hiring hundreds of officers to improve safety

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Looking at the San Francisco of today, Bob Dylan's song comes to mind, "The times they are a changin'."

The city's mayor and police chief held a press conference to announce a proposal aimed to hire hundreds of officers over the next four years to improve safety.

"Unsightly things of people in crisis, people shooting up, it's not acceptable and the only way we can address that is adding to our women power and man power of the San Francisco Police Department," said Thomas Mazzucco of the police commission, who supports Mayor Mark Farrell's plan to add 250 officers over the next four years.

In his two-year budget proposal, more than $34 million will be added for public safety, which includes hiring some, not all of the 250 officers and funding police cars, equipment and reform efforts.

"What concerns me are the growing costs that will be see in year three and year four and those numbers are still pretty astronomical," expressed Budget Committee Chair and Supervisor Malia Cohen.

Supervisor Jeff Sheehy is also on that commission. He reminded everyone of what was happening at Twin Peaks lookout point.

"We had ten break-ins a day. After officers were assigned there, the following month, one, so presence is prevention," Sheehy told reporters.

More boots on the ground, that's been a goal of the city since the 1996 charter was enacted. It states clearly that the police force shall at all times consist of not fewer than 1,971 full duty officers. That number has never been reached due to budget cuts, retirements and other reasons.

The plan would bring the number of officers to more than 2,100.

"While I may be out of office eight weeks from now, this legacy will last for years to come, said Mayor Farrell while addressing cadets at the San Francisco Police Academy.

It's not clear how much of his plan will be embraced by the city's next mayor.

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