San Diego Has Policing Issues but Mayoral Candidates Sidestep Them


More than half of San Diego’s $1.1 billion day-to-day budget goes toward public safety and the City Charter enshrines police services as the city’s top priority, yet San Diego’s two mayoral candidates have largely ignored the issue, reports the Voice of San Diego. Instead, Carl DeMaio and Bob Filner have focused most of the campaign on issues where they’re unlikely to make a significant impact. San Diego’s low crime rate could explain why public safety doesn’t register as a top concern for voters.

Last year, law enforcement agencies from the nation’s 15 largest cities reported about 380 major crimes per 10,000 residents. In San Diego, the nation’s eighth largest city, police reported about 260. San Diego does have major public safety issues to consider. The police department had a series of high-profile cases in 2011 that highlighted problems with departmental oversight. Police Chief William Lansdowne is 68 and unlikely to stay for the next mayor’s full term. San Diego used to be an international leader in community policing. Now the police department has conceded it moved away from that approach during the city’s pension and financial crises.

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