A recent statement from the San Diego Police Officers Association showed a troubling increase in murders around city parks and a rise in crime. Crime is up 13% in the city of San Diego and there have been 12 murders at city parks over the last 12 months. To make the situation even worse, the San Diego Police Department is losing officers, 20 per month to be exact. Many of these officers are experienced veterans.
Former San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer said that police officers have not been receiving the support they need from the government. Faulconer said in an interview with KUSI that officers, “don’t feel supported by their elected officials, when they aren’t given the tools and resources they need to be successful, unfortunately, we’re going to see what we’ve seen this past year in San Diego.” During his tenure as Mayor, Faulconer was pressured by left-wing activists who wanted him to defund the police, even standing outside of his house shouting. However, Faulconer did not budge and instead increased the police budget. He said that local elected officials who supported the “defund the police” movement are causing the exodus of officers from the force.
SDPD is faced with a big problem. In the last year, they have dropped down to less than 1,900 officers. In the fiscal year, the department has lost around 190 officers. Faulconer said that the government can look to police reform while also funding the department and making the city safe, “I think you can always talk about police reform. The best practices today are not going to be the best practices five to ten years from now. But you also darn well better fund your police department.” Faulconer is not the only person raising this issue. San Diego City Councilman Chris Cate wrote about the declining number of officers just three months ago.
Regarding the murders at city parks, Faulconer said he was “extremely concerned” and said that the leaving of experienced police officers is one of the reasons there has been an increase in crime. Faulconer also said that there should be increased investment in community resources, citing after-school programs that he pushed while he was mayor.
Photo Cred: NBC 7 San Diego