A key component of San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom’s anti-crime initiative — one that puts extra cops on the street in high-crime areas — is in danger of falling victim to poor planning and politics, says the San Francisco Chronicle. At issue is the Violent Crime Reduction Program, which the Police Department started up last year and touted as a way of putting a lid on a rising homicide rate. It hasn’t done too badly, because the number of homicides this year is down 30 percent from last year.
With her overtime budget already $4 million over the $10 million that was supposed to last through June 30, Police Chief Heather Fong has quietly called for 50 percent cutbacks in overtime. While the chief maintains the mayor’s pet program will remain “a top priority,” district captains across the city are saying there’s no way they’ll be able to keep the extra cops patrolling the hot spots. The Board of Supervisors has also killed the $150,000 that Newsom wanted for the blue-ribbon commission that he called for in the wake of the “Cops Gone Wild” video scandal in December.