Unveiling the Truth Behind Mayor London Breed’s Budget Increase for the San Francisco Sheriff’s Office

Recent news reports have celebrated an 11% budget increase for the San Francisco Sheriff’s Office, amounting to $32.5 million. At first glance, this appears to be a significant investment in public safety, aimed at addressing chronic understaffing and other challenges. However, a closer look reveals that this increase is not as substantial as it seems and highlights a broader strategy of civilianizing law enforcement rather than prioritizing the recruitment of trained officers.

Breeds Lopsided Budgeting

 

The Real Numbers Behind the Budget

Out of the reported $32.5 million budget increase, a significant portion is allocated to specific categories that do not directly enhance the department’s core staffing and operational needs. Here’s the breakdown:

  • Union Contracts: $14.3 million
  • Overtime: $6.4 million (compared to current FY24)
  • Grant Programs: $4.1 million (mostly for CalAIM)
  • Capital Projects: $4.7 million
  • Jail Food Costs: $1 million
  • Interdepartmental Workorders: $0.5 million
  • CBO Contracts: $0.75 million
  • Transport Vehicles: $0.7 million

This means that the remaining portion allocated to genuinely new investments is minimal when considering the overall budget.

Misleading Public Perception

The administration’s presentation of this budget increase might lead the public to believe that there are significant new investments aimed at enhancing the capabilities and staffing of the Sheriff’s Office. However, this perception is misleading. Here’s why:

  1. Routine Increases Masked as New Investments:
    • The $14.3 million included in the budget is a result of standard contract negotiations. These are expected adjustments and do not represent new or innovative investments to attract new applicants or improve current working conditions.
  2. Overtime Expenses:
    • The increase in overtime funding, while necessary, does not address the root cause of understaffing and merely patches over the immediate need for additional hours. This does not contribute to long-term solutions or improvements in the working conditions for deputies.
  3. Specific Program Funding:
    • Funds allocated to specific grant programs, capital projects, and other targeted expenses do not translate into direct enhancements to the department’s primary functions.

Breakdown of the Budget Allocation

The proposed budget of $323.6 million for the Sheriff’s Office is $32.5 million higher than the previous fiscal year. Here’s a detailed look at where the additional funds are being spent:

  • Union Contracts: $14.3 million
  • Overtime: $6.4 million increase compared to the current FY24
  • Grant Programs: $4.1 million, primarily for CalAIM
  • Capital Projects: $4.7 million for capital, COIT, and COP projects
  • Jail Food Costs: $1 million increase
  • Interdepartmental Workorders: Approximately $0.5 million increase
  • CBO Contracts: $0.75 million cost-of-doing-business allowance
  • Transport Vehicles: $0.7 million for two transport buses

Civilianization: A Silent Defunding Strategy

A particularly alarming aspect of the proposed budget is the continuation and expansion of civilianization efforts. According to the budget proposal:

Continue Safety Ambassadors and Civilianization to provide non-law enforcement response. The proposed budget continues and expands civilianization efforts and alternatives to law enforcement. This includes funding Police Service Aides, citywide Public Safety Community Ambassadors, and retired Police Officer ambassadors. It also continues to fund the City’s Street Response Teams, which provide non-law enforcement responses to 911 and 311 calls for people in behavioral health crisis and people experiencing homelessness”​.

Analysis and Implications

  1. Reduced Law Enforcement Presence:
    • The shift towards civilian roles for tasks traditionally handled by law enforcement officers diminishes the overall presence of trained officers on the streets. This can lead to slower response times and reduced capability to handle emergencies effectively.
  2. Undermining Law Enforcement Effectiveness:
    • Civilianization efforts, while beneficial in some non-critical areas, can undermine the overall effectiveness of law enforcement. Trained officers possess the necessary skills and authority to handle a wide range of public safety issues that civilians cannot.
  3. Public Safety Perception:
    • Treating law enforcement as a secondary priority in the public safety framework sends a message that their contributions are less valued. This could diminish the public’s trust and confidence in the city’s ability to ensure safety and security.

A Missed Opportunity for Meaningful Change

If Mayor Breed was truly pro-public safety, she would have stopped feeding the overtime budget and instead dedicated money to strike out the first step in pay. This would allow the Sheriff’s Office to advertise a higher starting rate to attract more applicants. By not addressing this fundamental issue, the administration missed a critical opportunity to make a substantial impact on recruitment and retention within the Sheriff’s Office.

The Need for Genuine Investment

For San Francisco to effectively address its public safety challenges, there needs to be a clear and transparent commitment to investing in trained law enforcement officers. Here are some steps that could make a real difference:

  1. Transparent Budget Reporting:
    • Clearly separate routine contract negotiation increases and overtime allocations from new budget investments to provide an honest picture of financial commitments.
  2. Develop New Recruitment Incentives:
    • Introduce signing bonuses, enhanced benefits, and career development opportunities specifically designed to attract new law enforcement officers.
    • Eliminate the first step in pay to offer a higher starting salary and make the position more attractive to potential recruits.
  3. Invest in Long-Term Solutions:
    • Focus on improving working conditions, providing competitive salaries, and offering comprehensive support programs to retain current staff and attract new recruits.

Moving Forward with Honesty and Clarity

As we move forward, it is crucial for the administration to present budget information transparently. Only then can we have honest discussions about what is needed to support our law enforcement officers and ensure public safety in San Francisco. The city needs real, substantive changes to overcome its current challenges and meet the expectations of the community.

By addressing these issues head-on, we can work towards a future where San Francisco’s law enforcement agencies are fully staffed, well-supported, and able to provide the highest level of public safety services to our city. Let’s ensure that every dollar allocated truly makes a difference.

Undersheriff Freeman said Sheriff Miyamoto has NO PLAN!

Matt FreemanOn May 14, 2024, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors convened a meeting on the impacts of lockdowns in the San Francisco County Jail.

Of particular concern is the health and well-being of deputy sheriffs and the impacts on the inmate population as a result of jail lockdowns.  The presenters at the hearing included the Sheriff’s Office, Deputy Sheriffs’ Association, Sheriff’s Inspector General, and Public Defender’s Office.

While each presenter and subsequent questions by the board members warrant merit for further discussion, it is the Sheriff’s presentation that requires further examination.  It is very important to keep in mind that this hearing was called due to the voluminous and violent attacks on deputies and the jail lockdowns that were caused by the aforementioned.

One would expect the Sheriff to present a plan that expedites the hiring of deputies in large numbers, details a training strategy to minimize attacks on deputies, states how he will modernize the deputy recruitment plan, and address the significant deficiencies in the county jail infrastructure.

We did not hear that.

Instead, the Sheriff spoke of hiring more discharge planners, securing funding for more behavioral health personnel, and purchasing more body-worn cameras.  Each of these initiatives has merit in consideration of county jail operations.

But, they completely miss the point and fall well short of what is needed to address the crisis in the San Francisco County Jail.  Deputies are under constant assault and risk of great bodily injury and possibly death. Inmates do not feel safe and lack adequate living quarters to include access to outdoor recreation.

The Sheriff’s presentation offered no solutions to these most pressing issues.  So the public, the deputies, the inmates, and loved ones of both are left wondering, what is the Sheriff’s Office plan?  The Sheriff’s Office has about 175 vacant deputy sheriff positions. What is the plan to fill the vacancies?
No plan.

The SFSO has an outdated, understaffed, and underfunded recruitment operation.  What is the plan to address this?
No plan.

The county jail facilities are decrepit and do not provide adequate living spaces, nor sufficient outdoor recreation.  What is the plan to address this?
No plan.

Too many deputy sheriffs are assigned to non-jail assignments. Not enough deputies are assigned to background investigations and personnel to support hiring efforts. What is the plan to rectify improper resource allocation?
No plan.

Overtime expenditures are consistently high including involuntary deputy overtime that causes exhausted deputies. Command-level staff are allowed to accrue overtime exasperating skyrocketing costs. What is the plan to decrease overtime spending?
No plan.

During the hearing, the Sheriff was asked if he had the funds in his budget to fill the deputy vacancies.
The answer was yes.

The question was followed by, so if you could hire the bodies, you have the funds to pay them?
The answer was yes.

It begs the question, why are these vacancies not being filled? What motivation could exist to subject deputies and inmates to such unsafe staffing levels?

Key to addressing all of these issues is leadership and the courage and strength to advocate.  The Sheriff is an elected Constitutional Officer and a Chief Executive Law Enforcement Officer.  The authority of the office must be used to educate, advance, and solicit the needs of the
agency.

The Sheriff must speak forcefully and directly at every opportunity to the electorate, the Board of Supervisors, and the Mayor about these mission-critical needs:

● Fill the deputy vacancies
● Fund a robust SFSO recruitment program
● Fund a fully staffed SFSO background investigation unit
● Fund the training needs of the Sheriff’s Office
● Approve significant capital improvements to the infrastructure of the county jail

Each of these is required to ensure a safe, humane, and secure county jail.

That must always be the priority of the Sheriff.

Matthew Freeman
The Undersheriff (Ret)
San Francisco Sheriff’s Office

Demanding Action: San Francisco Deputy Sheriffs Association Calls for Urgent Staffing Solutions

In a bold move to address the critical staffing shortages plaguing the San Francisco Sheriff’s Office (SFSO), the San Francisco Deputy Sheriffs’ Association (SFDSA) has issued an open letter to Sheriff, Mayor, and Board Supervisor President. The letter, signed by SFDSA President Ken Lomba, demands immediate action to recruit and hire Deputy Sheriffs to alleviate the current crisis.

The urgency of the situation cannot be overstated. A recent survey conducted by Dr. Lois James, PhD, revealed shocking statistics regarding the sleep, health, and wellness of SFSO deputies. With an average of only 5.25 hours of sleep per 24-hour period, deputies are facing serious risks to their health and safety. The survey also found high rates of physical and mental health problems among deputies, including high blood pressure, sleep apnea, depressive symptoms, and anxiety.

Despite these alarming findings, SFSO deputies are working an average of 28 hours of overtime per week, nearly tripling the recommended limit set by Occupational Safety and Health guidelines. This excessive overtime not only contributes to fatigue and health issues but also increases the risk of incidents and accidents on the job.

The cost analysis conducted by Dr. James further highlights the urgency of the situation. It is more cost-effective to increase the workforce by approximately 50% than to rely on overtime to fill staffing gaps.

In light of these findings, the SFDSA is demanding immediate action from Sheriff, Mayor, and Board Supervisor President. The association calls for the allocation of necessary funding to recruit and hire additional Deputy Sheriffs to ensure the safety and well-being of deputies and the public.

The SFDSA’s open letter serves as a clarion call for action. It demands results and concrete steps to address the staffing crisis in the SFSO. If no action is taken, the SFDSA is prepared to escalate its efforts and inform the public about the gravity of the situation.

The time for action is now. The safety and well-being of our deputies and our community depend on it.

Ken Lomba
President
San Francisco Deputy Sheriffs’ Association

Deputy Sheriffs Working the Toughest Beat in San Francisco

Amidst the bustling streets and vibrant neighborhoods of San Francisco, there exists a group of dedicated individuals who work tirelessly to ensure the safety and security of our communities. These unsung heroes are the deputy sheriffs who guard the county jails, facing unique challenges and pressures that come with the territory.

Recent data paints a stark picture of the realities these deputy sheriffs confront daily. Incidents of prisoner fights have been on the rise, placing a significant strain on the already stretched-thin staffing levels. In 2022, there were 172 prisoner fights, averaging 0.276 fights per deputy sheriff. By 2023, these numbers had increased, with 240 fights averaging 0.393 fights per deputy sheriff. These statistics underscore the challenging and often volatile environment in which these deputies operate.

In addition to the increase in prisoner fights, attacks on deputies have also been on the rise. In 2022, there were 121 attacks on deputies, averaging 0.194 attacks per deputy sheriff. By 2023, this number had surged to 216 attacks, averaging 0.354 attacks per deputy sheriff. These attacks not only pose a direct threat to the safety of the deputies but also impact their morale and well-being.

Deputies Attacked 2024

Despite these challenges, deputy sheriffs in San Francisco’s county jails continue to demonstrate unwavering dedication and professionalism in the face of adversity. They work long hours, often in high-stress situations, to ensure the safety and security of both inmates and staff. Their commitment to upholding the law and maintaining order in a challenging environment is commendable and deserving of recognition.

However, the city’s failure to address the issue of understaffing in the jails puts additional strain on these already overburdened deputies. With inadequate staffing levels, deputies are forced to work longer hours and take on increased responsibilities, leading to fatigue and burnout. The city’s proposal to eliminate staffing minimums at the Sheriff’s Office further exacerbates this issue, putting the safety of both deputies and inmates at risk.

It is crucial that we recognize the invaluable contributions of these deputy sheriffs and advocate for the resources and support they need to carry out their duties safely and effectively. By investing in additional staffing and implementing measures to improve working conditions, we can ensure that our deputy sheriffs have the support they need to continue serving our communities with professionalism and dedication.

San Francisco Sheriff’s Office Struggles Amid Staffing Crisis Amid Civil Unrest, Protests, and Rising Violence

The San Francisco Sheriff’s Office is in the midst of a staffing crisis, severely impacting its ability to maintain safety and respond effectively to emergencies. The recent blockage of the Golden Gate Bridge by pro-Palestinian protesters underscored the department’s challenges, with off-duty deputies being urgently called in to address the situation due to the staffing shortfall.

One of the most pressing issues exacerbated by the staffing shortage is the escalating violence within the jails, including an alarming rise in prisoner fights and attacks on deputies. These incidents not only jeopardize the lives of deputies but also compromise the safety and security of inmates and staff. The lack of adequate staffing has made it increasingly difficult for the Sheriff’s Office to manage these incidents and ensure the safety of all involved.

Who is going to respond? We are running out of Deputy Sheriffs!

In addition to internal challenges, the Sheriff’s Office is also facing external pressures, such as civil unrest and protests, which have become more frequent and intense. These events require a significant law enforcement presence to maintain order and protect public safety. However, the staffing shortage has forced the department to stretch its resources thin, raising concerns about its ability to respond effectively to such events.

SF Protest No Staffing

 

Addressing the current staffing crisis at the Sheriff’s Office requires immediate and decisive action. Hiring must be made a top priority, with a focus on fast-tracking the recruitment process to quickly fill vacant positions. The Sheriff’s Office should explore all available options to expedite hiring, including streamlining application processes and offering incentives to attract qualified candidates.

In conclusion, the staffing crisis facing the San Francisco Sheriff’s Office is a critical issue that demands urgent attention. Failure to address this crisis not only endangers the safety of deputies and inmates but also undermines the department’s ability to maintain public safety during times of civil unrest and protests. It is imperative that immediate steps are taken to increase staffing levels and ensure that the Sheriff’s Office is adequately equipped to handle the challenges it faces.

Prisoner Fights Increasing in SF Jails as City Understaffs Sheriff’s Office

In recent years, the San Francisco jails have seen a concerning rise in prisoner fights, highlighting the critical issue of inadequate staffing in in the jail facilities. This trend not only jeopardizes the safety of inmates but also poses significant challenges for the deputies tasked with maintaining order and security.

One of the most pressing concerns arising from this staffing shortage is the delayed or inadequate response to violent altercations between inmates. With fewer deputies on duty, the ability to quickly intervene and de-escalate volatile situations is compromised, leading to an increased risk of injuries and further escalation of violence.

Moreover, the lack of sufficient staffing also impacts the ability to provide timely medical response to inmates in need. In emergency situations, every minute counts, and understaffed facilities struggle to ensure that medical emergencies are promptly attended to, putting the health and well-being of inmates at risk.

Another critical aspect affected by inadequate staffing is the ability to maintain regular safety checks on prisoners. Proper supervision and monitoring are essential to prevent conflicts and ensure the overall security of the facility. However, with fewer deputies available, the frequency and effectiveness of these safety checks are compromised, creating vulnerabilities within the facility.

Despite these challenges, the city administration has been slow to address the issue of understaffing in jail facilities. In fact, there have been discussions about eliminating staffing minimums at the Sheriff’s Office, a move that could further exacerbate the problem and compromise the safety of both inmates and deputies.

It is imperative that city officials prioritize the safety and security of correctional facilities by ensuring adequate staffing levels. Investing in additional resources and implementing measures to attract and retain qualified deputies is crucial to addressing this pressing issue. Failure to do so not only jeopardizes the well-being of those incarcerated but also undermines the safety and effectiveness of the entire correctional system.

SFDSA’s Forewarning Ignored: SFO Held Hostage by Protestors, Security Concerns Persist

Just over a year ago, the San Francisco Deputy Sheriffs’ Association (SFDSA) issued a warning to San Francisco International Airport (SFO) Director Ivar Satero regarding the weak level of security at the airport. The SFDSA highlighted concerns about the staffing of police officers at SFO, noting that the current system, where SFPD staffing is dependent on city levels, was flawed and compromised public safety.

Despite this warning, yesterday, SFO experienced a major security breach as protestors took over the airport, disrupting operations and holding it hostage for close to three hours. The protestors, demanding a ceasefire in Gaza and an end to U.S. military aid to Israel, blocked traffic outside the International Terminal and security lanes inside the airport.

sfo protestors

The incident raised serious questions about SFO’s security preparedness and response. Despite the SFDSA‘s forethought and identification of security weaknesses, SFO did not call on the San Francisco Sheriffs for assistance during the protest, highlighting a failure to address the security concerns raised by the SFDSA.

 


The SFDSA’s warning, issued a year ago, was a clear indication of the potential security risks at SFO. The fact that these concerns were not addressed and that SFO did not utilize available resources, such as the San Francisco Sheriffs, during yesterday’s protest, is troubling.

Moving forward, it is imperative that SFO takes immediate action to address its security vulnerabilities and ensure the safety of its employees, customers, and infrastructure. The SFDSA’s warning should serve as a wake-up call, emphasizing the importance of proactive security measures and the need to heed warnings from law enforcement professionals.

The incident at SFO underscores the critical importance of maintaining strong security measures at all times, especially at key transportation hubs like airports. Failure to do so can have serious consequences, as demonstrated by yesterday’s events at SFO.

San Francisco Deputy Sheriffs’ Association (SFDSA) Files BAR Misconduct Complaint Against Deputy Public Defender Ilona Yanez

San Francisco, CA – Feb. 22, 2024 – The San Francisco Deputy Sheriffs’ Association (SFDSA) has filed a formal complaint against Deputy Public Defender Ilona Yanez for misconduct under the State BAR of California rules. This complaint comes in response to Yanez’s handling of a domestic violence case involving survivor Jordana Cahen, which was recently exposed in an investigative report by ABC7 News I-Team’s Dan Noyes.

The complaint alleges that Yanez displayed bias against the victim, minimized Jordana’s experience, and shifted the focus away from the abuser’s actions, in violation of the California State BAR rule against bias. Yanez is also accused of abusing her authority by intervening in a small claims court complaint filed by Jordana against the abuser, compromising Jordana’s pursuit of justice.

Furthermore, Yanez’s interactions with the jury after the verdict, including buying drinks for several jurors and discussing the case with them, demonstrate a lack of respect for the legal process and the integrity of the jury system.

SFDSA President Ken Lomba stated, “The conduct of Deputy Public Defender Ilona Yanez in this case is deeply concerning and undermines the principles of justice and fairness that are fundamental to our legal system. We urge the State BAR of California to conduct a thorough investigation into Yanez’s conduct and take appropriate disciplinary action.”

The SFDSA is committed to upholding the highest standards of professionalism and ethics within the legal profession and will continue to advocate for the rights of victims of domestic violence.

Contact:
Ken Lomba
President
San Francisco Deputy Sheriffs’ Association
415-696-2428

San Francisco Deputy Sheriffs’ Association Condemns Misconduct by Public Defender’s Office in Domestic Violence Case

San Francisco, CA – Feb. 22, 2024 – The San Francisco Deputy Sheriffs’ Association (SFDSA) is deeply troubled by the recent revelations of misconduct within the San Francisco Public Defender’s Office in the case of Jordana Cahen, a survivor of domestic violence. An investigative report by ABC7 News I-Team’s Dan Noyes uncovered disturbing actions by Deputy Public Defender Ilona Yanez, which included victim-blaming and unethical behavior.

The SFDSA condemns the actions of the Public Defender’s Office and Deputy Public Defender Ilona Yanez in their handling of this case. Survivors of domestic violence deserve to be treated with dignity, respect, and compassion, and to have their voices heard in the pursuit of justice. The conduct of the Public Defender’s Office in this case falls far short of these standards and is unacceptable.

Public Defender Mano Raju‘s apparent indifference to the misconduct within his office is also deeply concerning. As a leader in the legal profession, Raju has a responsibility to uphold the highest standards of ethics and professionalism. His failure to address the serious ethical violations and boundary violations committed by his office is unacceptable.

The SFDSA calls for accountability and reform within the San Francisco Public Defender’s Office to ensure that survivors of domestic violence receive the support and advocacy they deserve. It is essential that all individuals involved in the legal profession are held to the highest standards of ethics and professionalism.

The SFDSA stands in solidarity with Jordana Cahen and all survivors of domestic violence. We will continue to advocate for justice and support for survivors in our community.

Contact:
Ken Lomba
President
San Francisco Deputy Sheriffs’ Association
415-696-2428

Shocking details of the San Francisco Public Defender’s Office’s conduct in the case of Jordana Cahen

The shocking details of the San Francisco Public Defender’s Office’s conduct in the case of Jordana Cahen were uncovered by ABC7 News I-Team investigative reporter Dan Noyes. Noyes’s thorough investigation revealed the disturbing actions of Deputy Public Defender Ilona Yanez and raised serious questions about the ethics and professionalism of the Public Defender’s Office in handling cases of domestic violence.


Despite the gravity of the allegations and the clear evidence of misconduct, Public Defender Mano Raju has seemingly turned a blind eye to the actions of his office. In response to inquiries about Yanez’s conduct, Raju has defended her actions, claiming there was nothing improper about her behavior in the Gamero case.

Raju’s refusal to acknowledge the serious ethical violations and boundary violations committed by his office raises concerns about his leadership and commitment to upholding the highest standards of legal ethics. Survivors of domestic violence deserve to have their cases handled with sensitivity, empathy, and professionalism, and Raju’s failure to address the misconduct within his office is deeply troubling.

Noyes’s reporting has not only exposed the misconduct within the Public Defender’s Office but has also highlighted the need for accountability and reform within the legal system. It is essential that all individuals involved in the legal profession, including public defenders, are held to the highest standards of ethics and professionalism. Noyes’s work has brought attention to these important issues and will hopefully lead to changes that better protect and support survivors in the future.

Full details at ABC7 I-Team https://abc7news.com/domestic-violence-san-francisco-woman-shares-story-public-defenders-office-survivor-stories/14453764/