Twenty-three police officers with the San Francisco Police Department have resigned so far this year. Of those 19 have taken jobs with other law enforcement agencies in and outside of California.
By comparison, 26 officers resigned in all of 2019 and only 12 in 2018.
Critics are blaming the SF “social experiment” whereby police officers are no longer allowed to enforce low-level crime. The measure is a bid to solve the city’s problems.
“The members are upset that the social experiment being conducted in San Francisco is failing, and they would rather work someplace that values them,” said Tony Montoya, president of the Police Officers Association.
“This is just the beginning. Dozens are actively in the hiring process with other agencies.
“Members have gone to places like the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office, Pleasant Hill, Beverly Hills, Petaluma, Palm Springs, Placerville, Long Beach, Idaho, Texas, Arizona,” he added.
Long commutes are also a problem, since most officers can’t afford an apartment to live in the city in which they work.
One officer, who asked not to be named because of privacy concerns, summed up the department’s retention problem in a few sentences: It’s not just about the money. It’s the money combined with long commutes and quality of life & work issues.
“I was getting a great paycheck, but 20% went to taxes,” said the officer who is now working at a police department in Texas.
“Here I got a bigger house, a more affordable lifestyle and a commute that went from two hours each way to 15 minutes.”
“It’s also nice working at a place where everyone isn’t mad at you,” the officer said. “In San Francisco, everyone was mad. The homeowners would get mad because you didn’t move the homeless who were sleeping in front of their house. Then, when you tried to help the homeless, someone would start yelling about police brutality.”
“And everyone had a cell phone camera on you,” he said.