Opinion: As Crime Rises, San Diego Neighborhoods Should Consider Private Security

This article was originally published by Times of San Diego

With crime on the raise, San Diego neighborhoods should consider hiring private security.

Many communities throughout San Diego already have private security companies patrolling their neighborhoods. The San Diego Police Department now takes hours to respond to non-emergency calls due to an officer staffing shortage and citizens are getting frustrated.

Hiring private security is not a new concept. In Oakland, California, several neighborhoods have hired private security to patrol their neighborhoods in response to escalating crime rates and reductions in police staffing. More than 600 Oakland households pay $20 a month for unarmed patrols in clearly marked cars to run 12 hours a day, Monday through Saturday.

Local law enforcement agencies across the country are struggling to provide basic service to their communities due to a reduction in personnel. Some feel the cutback in police is due to the “defund police” movement.

That is not the case in San Diego, where the police budget increased in 2021. But the increase was for pension funding that supports retired police officers and to cover other non-discretionary expenses like rising insurance rates and utility bills. There was not a boost in the ratio of police officers to civilians which is already low in San Diego.