Having labored as an administrator with the town throughout six completely different mayoral administrations, I can attest to the truth that each mayor used such an event to current statistics in a way which greatest mirrored the crime insurance policies they had been supporting.
These press conferences had been often carried out with an agreeing police chief, as this one was, however from time to time they appeared alone in order to deflect partial blame to different metropolis departments.
In San Francisco, the place the chief of police is appointed by the mayor, it makes for a stronger “present” to have each seem collectively.
As lots of you recognize, statistics can be utilized in many various methods to justify specific and even opposing factors of view. It’s how they’re offered. Often the underside line tells us what we have to know. I’m not going to bore you with quoting the statistics the mayor and chief offered, however somewhat touch upon how they offered them.
The statistics that had been offered July 12 instructed us, in no unsure phrases, that violent crime in most classes was dramatically on the rise at this level in comparison with prior years. Homicides, gun violence, burglaries, aggravated assault, automotive thefts and break-ins have all elevated at an alarming price over prior years.
In some cases throughout the presentation, solely chosen years had been used as comparative benchmarks, and at different occasions, half-year stats had been in comparison with complete yr stats.
Within the class of homicides, the mayor talked concerning the fantastic success ratio of arrests made, however not the rise within the total variety of murders being the very best it’s been in a long time. I’m comfortable that our police division is doing job of their investigations and making arrests, however I’m not comfortable that the speed or numbers of murders has elevated a lot.
The dialogue on gun violence, one other class of dramatic improve, was artfully minimized by the rhetoric on “ghost weapons”. Ghost weapons are unregistered, unlicensed, or illegally made 3D weapons. It’s fantastic that we’ve got the power to establish the kind of weapon utilized by increasingly more criminals, but it surely tells me nothing about what we’re doing to lesson such crime.
Burglaries and residential invasions are manner up. This was accompanied by a somewhat prolonged clarification of the truth that extra folks have been at house over the last yr due to COVID-19. One would assume that burglaries and residential invasions would lower due to that reality.
Auto theft and break-ins proceed their upward spike. The mayor went on and on about how some of these crimes had been the work of a small handful of teams who’re well-known to police. Are these folks being arrested, and in that case, are they being prosecuted? No matter how well-known they’re, they’re nonetheless as much as their methods.
Rape and sexual assault circumstances are down, I’m comfortable to report. The mayor attributed this to the truth that extra folks, particularly ladies, stayed at house throughout the previous six months due to the pandemic and lockdowns.
Larceny and petty theft had been reported as down in comparison with the prior three years.
It’s no marvel, as a result of each varieties of crime have been reclassified as virtually insignificant by a district lawyer who refuses to prosecute virtually any kind of theft lower than $950, if no weapon or violence is concerned. The cops cause that they need to not waste their time pursuing such circumstances if they’re simply going to be dismissed by the district lawyer. I didn’t hear the mayor or chief speak concerning the lack of prosecution in any respect.
The entire above was neatly packaged into a really boring and laborious to comply with, self-congratulating press convention as talked about above. A lot was mentioned about all the fantastic new social packages which have been instituted to assist analyze and battle crime as the results of the mayor defunding the police and sheriff departments to the tune of $65 million this yr and one other $65 million subsequent yr.
The one drawback right here is that the statistics she and the chief are quoting don’t assist her assertion that the packages are “fantastic or efficient” as crime throughout the board is vastly rising.
There’s a substantial amount of confusion as to really how a lot cash has been deducted from the police division, as she promised throughout her July, 2020 “Dream Keeper Initiative” to defund the police.
It’s clear she has discovered the cash by some means to fund these options to law-enforcement social packages, costing not less than $65 million to date, and has taken sufficient from the police division to trigger a scarcity of 400 law enforcement officials accessible to patrol our streets. It is a discount of virtually 25 p.c of our energetic police drive.
The mayor then went onto embarrassing lengths concerning the significance of “extra police on the beat.” She even reported that crime within the tenderloin has gone down due to her insistence that extra police be current in that space. Why doesn’t she apply the identical precept to the remainder of the town as an alternative of being the only trigger why our police division staffing is down 25%?
I applaud Chief Invoice Scott for being the great soldier that he’s. I imagine that he’s doing his greatest beneath very making an attempt and hostile circumstances. I believe that he’s caught between a politician who actually believes her personal spin, and a district lawyer who’s extra like a public defender.
Let’s hope that sometime, saner heads will prevail and San Franciscans will begin electing people who find themselves genuinely involved with the welfare of the folks they signify versus politics, and that they’ve the competence to deal with the job.
Tony Corridor is a former supervisor within the metropolis and county of San Francisco.
Views expressed on this article are the opinions of the writer and don’t essentially mirror the views of The Epoch Instances.