In an interview with Fox News Lt. Tracy McCray, the President of the San Francisco Police Officer Association, discussed her city’s reneged decision to defund the police.
"We need more money to give cops," McCray said. "We would have had money if you didn't take 120 million away from us. But, you know, that's water under the bridge now. We need to figure out what we're going to do today."
McCray is referring to a policy made in 2020 by politicians to “redirect 120 million” dollars to support other priorities as stated by San Francisco mayor, London Breed.
"We will redirect $120 million from law enforcement to support these priorities over the next two years," Breed said in her announcement on July 31, 2020. "Let me repeat that. This is $120 million."
She repeated it and Lt. McCray remembered it. Since the financial redirect San Francisco has seen crime rates spike at alarming rates. A 20% increase in homicide from the 2019-2020 was recorded followed by a 17% increase compared to 2020. According to SFGate, burglaries rose 47% in 2020 in comparison to the past three years of records.
While crime rates rise the San Francisco Police Department is falling. The department is down 300 officers; 50 of which were lost in the last month. Only eight to ten recruits have stepped up to fill the enormous gap. Mission Local reported an 18% resignation increase and 45% retirement increase between April 2020-April 2021.
Due to the negative outcome of the 120 million “prioritized to other things,” Mayor Breed made a statement in December of 2021 on her Medium page titled “A Safer San Francisco.” She wrote about the need for “accountability” and “compassion.”
“We need to change course on how we handle public safety in San Francisco. I’m proud that this city believes in giving people second chances. Nevertheless, we also need there to be accountability when someone does break the law,” Breed wrote. “We can’t be a place where anything goes on the street. San Francisco is a compassionate city, but our compassion cannot be mistaken for weakness or indifference.”
"Mayor Breed’s announcement yesterday to deploy more police officers to address the unacceptable level of crime in portions of our city, namely the Tenderloin, is an acknowledgment that the push to defund the SFPD was a mistake," Tony Montoya, president of the San Francisco Police Officers Association, said in a statement at the time.
In July of 2022 the San Francisco Board of Supervisors approved a 14 million dollar budget to replace 200 lost law enforcement positions and provide officer retention bonuses in 2022-2023.
McCray had a hot take toward the Band-Aid-on-a-bullet-wound solution politicians offered her department.
"I feel like I'm in a battered relationship with a bunch of these politicians in our city," McCray said. "Make up your mind if you want us to do our job and give us the tools to do it. Or you know what? Shut up. Go back in your office and close the door because you're not helping."
McCray is also “hopeful” for the new district attorney. In June voters recalled the former San Francisco DA, Chesa Boudin for engaging in "pro-criminal policies.” As Mayor Breed described it in her Medium announcement, San Francisco is getting ready to experience some “tough love.”