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San Francisco Measure E: Police Department Staffing Levels

San Francisco police officers in the Mission District (2012 image)


This is a 2-minute summary of what’s on the ballot. Click here to listen to them all.

If passed, Measure E would allow San Francisco to make changes to the number of full-time police officers on its force.

Since the early 90s, the City Charter has required the San Francisco Police Department to maintain a minimum of 1,971 officers. Measure E would allow that number to fluctuate.


It would establish a new process to determine how many police officers are necessary. This calls for SFPD to analyze staffing needs and recommend changes every two years. The Police Commission must consider these recommendations in their annual budget, but wouldn’t be required to adoptany changes.


The president of San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors says the current minimum number of police officers required is arbitrary. The board’s majority says San Francisco should dispatch more social workers and substance-use counselors where they’re needed, instead of police officers.


The San Francisco Taxpayer Association opposes the measure. They argue that amending police staffing at an election is an “unnecessary taxpayer expense.” San Francisco’s financial department says that once passed, it wouldn’t cost extra money to implement Measure E.


San Francisco Republican Party Chairman John Dennis also opposes it. He says the city shouldn’t be cutting the number of police officers due to high crime rates.


Vote yes on Measure E if you want San Francisco to make changes to the minimum number of police officers based on needs. If you would rather have San Francisco stick to the current police staffing, then vote no.


Noor Bouzidi is an intern with KALW. Her reporting interests are housing insecurity, immigration, economy, and all issues around systemic poverty in California.