The Volokh Conspiracy

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Fund the Police


From CBS SF Bay Area, quoting S.F. Mayor London Breed:

It's time the reign of criminals who are destroying our city, it is time for it come to an end. And it comes to an end when we take the steps to more aggressive with law enforcement. More aggressive with the changes in our policies and less tolerate of all the bullshit that has destroyed our city….

In recent months we've not only seen a number of high-profile incidents of brazen robberies and car break-ins but also street behavior and criminal activity especially in the Tenderloin that has become far too normal and cannot continue to be tolerated.

All of our residents, our workers and everyone who visits our city should feel safe no matter what part of town they are in. I know San Francisco is a compassionate city. We are a city that prides ourselves on second chances and rehabilitation. But we're not a city where anything goes. Our compassion should not be mistaken for weakness or indifference.

Breed was focusing on four measures:

  • "[T]argeting a pipeline of illegal drugs that has been fueling a surge in gun violence and deadly fentanyl overdoses."
  • "Securing emergency police funding for needed resources."
  • "Amending our surveillance ordinance so law enforcement can interrupt crime in real time."
  • "Disrupting the illegal street sales of stolen goods."

I'm skeptical that further crackdowns on drug sales are a good idea. Drugs always seem to win the War on Drugs, and fighting that war causes tremendous collateral damage; the gun violence stems precisely from the illegality of the drugs. But I'm glad that even S.F. is relearning the importance of policing street crime, both violent crime and property crime.