UPDATED 9:10 AM PT – Wednesday, December 8, 2021
Smash and grab robberies have taken over San Francisco with businesses in the once upscale Union Square shopping area having plywood in their windows.
Over the weekend, Democrat Mayor London Breed was asked about the increase in crimes by MSNBC. She said that the situation has become so bad that she had to cancel vacations for San Francisco police officers and make them all report for duty to protect businesses and shoppers.
“And our response has been, you know, a larger police presence,” Breed explained. “And since a major incident occurred at a number of stores in the downtown area, we had no other choice but to cancel all vacations and all time off for our police department.”
The city, however, did have a choice in the matter. Just recently in February, the city proposed cutting $120 million from its police force to move that money exclusively into the city’s 5 percent black population. They would have laid off an estimated 167 officers previously patrolling the city’s streets with the proposal.
The proposed cuts followed calls from Mayor Breed and other far left San Francisco leaders to defund the city’s department after rioters and activists demanded such action be taken.
“I want black boys growing up today to thrive because we chose to change how this city and how this country treats our young black men,” said Breed. “Not as a statistic or an inevitable tragedy, but as an important part of our city’s future.”
After the recent spate of robberies, however, the mayor has backtracked and is refunding the department, but not before shortages of officers were able to take hold. Residents are feeling the brunt of the proposal to the budget and overall drop in police morale with polls showing over three-quarters opposing defunding the police.
Chief of Police, Bill Scott said that recruiting the estimated 400 new officers needed to patrol the streets is getting more and more difficult as time goes on.
“With recruitment right now, we’re getting less candidates, less people applying, and that impacts how many people we can bring through the academy doors,” explained the chief. “We need more cops on the streets.”
The increase in crime has largely ended talk of defunding the police in large blue cities with the cause further hurt by the failure of Minneapolis voters to abolish their police department entirely.
Still, San Francisco is dealing with the negative consequences of the policy despite backtracking once crime became too bad to ignore any longer. Shortages have become endemic in the city’s police force and are expected by police leaders to continue getting worse over time, which they say will increase response times and overwork officers still with the force.