Police, sheriff merger a tough sell | San Francisco Examiner

Ann Grogan asked if LPSF has a position on C. Daly\'s proposal. I do not remember that we discussed it

http://www.sfexaminer.com/opinion/blogs/under-the-dome/police-sheriff-merger-a-tough-sell-97806984.html

Nope position as it is still doubtful if the ballot initiative will actually get the number of Supervisor votes to go on the ballot - 6 needed. And the supervisors have until July 20 to make the decision.

Nothing more need be said then it's a Chris Daly initiative...

Bad bureaucracy move bad politics move etc...

Ron Getty

Funny you should post that just now. Not long before seeing your
email I had been on the Examiner site and posted a comment about that
news item. Here is my take on it:

Don't judge this too quickly just because you don't like Chris Daly
-- consolidating the police and sheriff's departments is a good
idea. Not only could it save money by eliminating duplication, but
the sheriff is an elected official, whereas the police chief is
appointed by the mayor. Thus putting the sheriff in charge would
give the public more influence in determining police priorities.

For instance, we might finally see an actual effort by the SFPD to
engage in community policing. And they might start putting more
resources toward investigating real crimes like homicides, auto and
bicycle theft, assaults, burglaries, etc., instead of wasting time
and money setting up stings to arrest would-be clients of
prostitutes and people selling small amounts of drugs.

-Starchild, Candidate for Supervisor, District 8

  Maybe there's another angle I haven't thought of. I'd be interested
to hear Ann's opinion. But when it comes to police issues, Chris Daly
is probably as libertarian as anyone on the Board.

Love & Liberty,
        ((( starchild )))

Read more at the San Francisco Examiner: http://www.sfexaminer.com/opinion/blogs/under-the-dome/police-sheriff-merger-a-tough-sell-97806984.html#ixzz0svilS7jS

Dear Starchild;

For the record have you read Chris Daly's initiative to combine the SFPD and Sheriff's departments? I haven't because a copy isn't available on the Board Supervisors web site although I am certain there is one there somewhere.

If you have read please indicate in the initiative where the duplication of efforts exist between the two which would be eliminated and estimated cost savings this would generate.This while allowing the SFPD and the Sheriff's depts. to complete their respective assigned duties. SFPD goes after criminals sheriff's dept runs the jails. Indicate where in the initiative the sheriff would assign more police to community policing and also real crime fighting. Indicate where in the initiative the sheriff would pull police off of stings for prostitution johns and small of amounts of drugs.

I am willing to bet Chris Daly's initiative does not address any of this.

You stated: But when it comes to police issues, Chris Daly is probably as
libertarian as anyone on the Board.

Hunh? Chris Daly crimefighter? This is why the SFPD fights police special patrol and still assigns dozens of motorcycle officers to visiting poobahs and still has not instituted community policing city wide in 8 years! Is he why the SFPD pay pension and benefits are so out of control and dozens of officers bump their pay with overtime just before retirement?

Ron Getty

Hi Ron and Starchild,

Thank you for the input. Although combining departments is usually seen as a cost-saving measure, I believe that works best when the departments perform very similar duties. However, SFPD and Sheriff are different enough that I visualize the structure for both needing to remain the same. At this point, I am not convinced. From my perspective, we are talking about factions desiring to undermine the SFPD. I guess we will concern ourselves about this when/if it becomes a real initiative.

Marcy

Ron,

  No, I haven't read the initiative. However Chris Daly apparently
first made this proposal way back in 2003, in response to a report
from the 1999-2000 Civil Grand Jury, which recommended merging the
departments:

"A report by the 1999/2000 Civil Grand Jury entitled 'Proposed Study:
Sheriff/Police Department Merger' found several potential benefits to
the merging of the Police and Sheriff’s departments. These included,
'a lower dropout rate, greater economies of scale, possible reduction
in duplicative administrative functions, coordination of departmental
policies, lower personnel turnover, increased training and orientation
opportunities, and more efficient hiring.'"

  In fairness, the legislative analyst's report on that 2003 proposal
(see http://www.sfbos.org/index.aspx?page=1205) seems to take a dimmer
view than the Civil Grand Jury of the potential benefits of such a
merger, noting that the areas of overlap are relatively few, that
other jurisdictions which consolidated law enforcement agencies didn't
necessarily achieve savings in the short term, etc.

  But I suspect Daly's main goal here is not cost savings, but rather
to take control of the police out of the hands of the mayor and put
them directly under an elected official, the sheriff. As I noted in my
post to the Examiner site, I think this would be a good thing.

  The problems you mention with the SFPD -- hostility to the Patrol
Specials, foot-dragging on implementing community policing, too many
resources devoted to protecting dignitaries, out-of-control pay,
pensions, and overtime -- are all issues on which I think Chris Daly
is generally with us at least as much as any other member of the
board, although Ross Mirkarimi has been point-man in pushing for
community policing.

  Chris Daly on the whole is clearly far from libertarian, but I don't
see that any pro-freedom purpose is served by mocking his credentials
on crime issues. We don't want to play into the Republican "tough on
crime" agenda that results in bigger, more powerful, and more
expensive government. Supervisor Daly was one of the Supervisors who
had the good sense to back Proposition K, decriminalizing
prostitution, which would have resulted in more police resources being
available to fight real crime. So in that instance at least he
deserved the title "crimefighter" more than a number of his colleagues.

Love & Liberty,
        ((( starchild )))

On Jul 6, 2010, at 7:52 PM, lpsfactivists wrote (in part):

Hi Ron and Starchild,

Thank you for the input. Although combining departments is usually
seen as a cost-saving measure, I believe that works best when the
departments perform very similar duties. However, SFPD and Sheriff
are different enough that I visualize the structure for both needing
to remain the same. At this point, I am not convinced. From my
perspective, we are talking about factions desiring to undermine the
SFPD.

  You mean as opposed to the factions desiring to strengthen the SFPD
at the expense of freedom?

Love & Liberty,
          ((( starchild )))

Hi Starchild,

The opposites you present are not necessarily so; neither is the correlation you make.

However, I am glad you posted your take that the proposal's primary purpose may not be cost savings, but placing the SFPD under an elected official. I will have to give some thought about how that may or may not improve things, given the folks that get elected in The City.

Marcy