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San Francisco struggles with police vacancies, overtime crush

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(The Center Square) – The city of San Francisco is being asked to almost double the overtime for members of its police department who work at the airport, increasing the cost to nearly $10 million.

The city originally budgeted $4.98 million in overtime for the San Francisco Police Department’s Airport Bureau and another $4.75 million in overtime was necessary to boost total overtime spending in 2023-24 to $9.7 million.

The ordinance was heard recently at the Budget and Finance Committee on May 15 according to the city agenda.

The city has had to deal with skyrocketing costs of overtime within the entire police department.

For example, the city budgeted for $25.4 million in overtime in fiscal year 2023. But it ended up paying $80.1 million in overtime that year, according to city documents.

As of January 2024, all city sworn officers has dropped from a peak of 2,177 in FY 2016 to 1,725 in FY 2023.

In regards to the Airport Bureau, the city projects vacancies will save them $16.9 million in salaries that were budgeted but not filled.

The city also expects to see an increase in overtime during the summertime with increased travel and the city’s expectation for associated visits with the 2024 Presidential elections, according to the report.

The mayor’s office responded to an email from The Center Square stating that the mayor’s budget will be submitted and publicly available by the June 1 deadline and that they are unable to comment on it until the final version is available.

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