A new poll shows a majority of San Francisco residents think it is time to increase police presence in areas affected by high rates of crime.
The annual San Francisco Chamber of Commerce report found 76 percent of residents want more police in high-crime areas, and 80 percent believe crime has accelerated. Polling was done by EMC Research from May 25 to 31, and respondents affirmed this sentiment “across gender, age, ethnicity, party affiliation, and neighborhood, and homeownership status.”
250 registered voters were polled. 60 percent of respondents agreed the city ought to keep funding law enforcement academies and 88 percent indicated homelessness has grown worse. The city had the sixth-highest number of homeless residents in 2020.
San Francisco, a reliably left-wing stronghold, has been gripped by the “defund the police” movement. Democrat Mayor London Breed announced a plan last summer to slash $120 million from the police and sheriff’s department budget.
However, after a major crime surge last year that resulted in a 36.7 percent increase in killings and a 753 percent increase in car break-ins at the police department’s primary station, Breed seemed to regret her decision. The mayor unveiled a plan in May to increase police in high-crime neighborhoods.
“To sustain the Community Ambassadors’ efforts for the longer-term, the Mayor is including funding in her two-year budget proposal, including $5 million in the first year and $3.8 million in the second year, while UC Hastings has dedicated $3 million in State funding,” a city press release stated. “Working together in partnership with the Mayor’s administration, UC Hastings has sought and received the support of Governor Newsom, who has included in his May Revision budget proposal an allocation of $3 million over three years to fund Urban Alchemy’s services contiguous to its campus.”
Still, the money approved to be cut from the budget will go toward the “underserved Black community,” a broad term to be understood as taking the form of police being instructed not to respond to non-criminal complaints and conduct “anti-bias” training.