SAN FRANCISCO – There is a very interesting development in San Francisco as it relates to police recruitment. Despite the State of California previously banning publicly funded travel to Texas, a law that has recently been repealed, the City of San Francisco is now trying to recruit cops from the Lone Star State.
In 2020, San Francisco Mayor London Breed announced that $120 million would be cut from the police and sheriff’s departments. What a difference a few years can make. Now she wants to “go fishing” for officers elsewhere since she can’t find enough people willing to subject themselves to her brand of politics.
“Reforming our criminal justice system must go hand-in-hand with policy changes and budget investments to make our city more equitable,” she said in 2020. “By redirecting funding from law enforcement agencies back into the African American community, we are putting our words into action, and we are doing it by listening to a community that for too long has been unheard and underserved.”
Hence, a subsequent soaring in property crimes forced the Democrat mayor to reverse course and the police budget was actually increased this year, reported ABC 7 News.
Now that they apparently have money to spend, and police applicants in California are scarce compared to the past, recruiters with the San Francisco Police Department are visiting four Texas university campuses, which include Texas Southern University, Sam Houston State University, Prairie View A&M University, and Texas A&M University, the Daily Wire reported.
In their attempt to find applicants, this is reportedly the first time prospective candidates are tested outside of California, according to the San Francisco Standard.
“California’s population is just under 40 million people,” a local cop told Law Officer. “It’s a BIG RED FLAG if they can’t find people living here to apply. I could provide several specific reasons, but then I’d no longer be anonymous.”
Staffing shortages have created a dramatic increase in mandatory overtime, which has soared 54% between 2021 and 2022.
SFPD has a table of organization calling for more than 2,100 officers to staff its positions. As of January, the department had 1,537 cops on the books, according to Supervisor Matt Dorsey, a former police communications staff member.
Earlier this week, the San Francisco Deputy Sheriff’s Association accused Breed of secretly defunding the department, saying it discovered at a labor management meeting that San Francisco had initiated cuts to the sheriff’s budget. SFDSA claimed that when it queried the city as to why, the city said it was broke, NBC Bay Area reported.
“We want to be part of the solution, but time and time again, the mayor seems to block the sheriff from doing that. And this is another example. She’s cut the funding for those items and it almost seems like silent defunding, you know? for us, and we’re trying to help,” SFDSA President Ken Lomba said.
The underfunding at the San Francisco Sheriff’s Office was recently highlighted by a Law Officer article pointing out that one deputy routinely works 100 hours per week patrolling City Hall, which is under its jurisdiction.
As a result, he’s raked in more than $2.2 million in overtime pay since 2016. Two other deputies came close to cracking $2 million in overtime during the same period of time, with one earning $1.9 million and another collecting $1.8 million, according to public records.
“Anyone who would leave Texas to become a police officer in California does not understand the political landscape as it relates to the institution of law enforcement,” said Jim McNeff, who retired from a police agency in Southern California and moved to Texas.
McNeff explained in the article, “Why retired California cops are fleeing the Golden State,” the many reasons that will make recruiting difficult for SFPD in Texas.
“The only way they will get recruits is to: 1) Convince ‘young idealists’ they are a good fit in San Francisco; 2) Find college students who are desperate for work; 3) Distort the actual working conditions in San Francisco to make it look appealing; 4) Connect with woke students who will make lousy cops,” McNeff said.
“In today’s climate, I would never personally recommend that a friend or loved one pursue law enforcement in the Bay Area,” the retired lieutenant emphasized. “When applying for work, a police applicant should be certain he or she could happily reside in the same community that is paying for their services. That eliminates a lot of places, even in Texas, like the City of Austin.”