San Diego City Council Candidate Joe Leventhal Offers Cogent Plan for Police Reform

Written by Nicholas Vetrisek

San Diego City Council candidate Joe Leventhal recently wrote an op-ed explaining his plan for San Diego law enforcement and his opinion on the George Floyd protests.

Leventhal stated that he’s committed to reforming the police system, but “reform” to him looks nothing like what many extremist activists have been calling for. “I support reforms in policing and the greater justice system,” Leventhal wrote. “But broadly calling to defund, disband or significantly cut the SDPD budget does not help our city move toward continued, meaningful reform.”

He also added that what happened with police officers in Minneapolis should not apply to San Diego, and that using the George Floyd case as a reason to go after the San Diego Police Department is wrong. “Using Mr. Floyd’s death to condemn the SDPD is factually unsupported and bad public policy. The SDPD is not the Minneapolis Police Department,” Leventhal noted. “Let’s not forget that San Diego has been repeatedly ranked as America’s safest big city. We can look at 1990s crime statistics to see how far we’ve come. In recent years, there have been considerable policy and cultural changes in the department. One of the more prominent examples is San Diego’s leadership in full implementation of body cameras.”

Among the reforms supported by Leventhal is the creation of a citywide Office of Race and Equity, investing in police to improve de-escalation training, and increasing police salaries as an incentive to recruit and maintain better officers. 

“For these reasons, and many more, calls to cut back on the SDPD’s budget are a step in the wrong direction. Implementing these reforms will take more money, not less. And disbanding the police is a nonstarter,” he concluded. “This unproven model leaves the public vulnerable and unsafe during times of domestic violence, armed robberies, mass shootings or worse. The actions of a few bad officers in Minneapolis shouldn’t equate to San Diego’s 1.4 million residents left without the safety and protection of police.”

Joe Leventhal has shown that he actually has solutions, unlike those paying lip service to the demands of the fringe mob—or even appeasing them entirely. Leventhal has demonstrated the courage and understanding to identify needed reforms and room for improvement, without disregarding the vital role that law enforcement serves. Public safety is one of his core campaign issues, and he has pledged to “support our police, firefighters, and other first responders and give them the tools they need to keep dangerous criminals off our streets and our homes protected.”

For more information about Joe Leventhal and his campaign for San Diego City Council District 5, visit JoeForSanDiego.com.