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Mayor Gloria Highlights Budget Proposal’s Public Safety Investments

MAYOR’S “READY TO REBUILD” BUDGET REFLECTS COMMITMENT TO KEEP SAN DIEGANS SAFE, BUILD STRONGER COMMUNITIES

Mayor Gloria Highlights Budget Proposal’s Public Safety Investments

MAYOR’S “READY TO REBUILD” BUDGET REFLECTS COMMITMENT TO KEEP SAN DIEGANS SAFE, BUILD STRONGER COMMUNITIES

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, May 5, 2022

CONTACT:
MayorPress@sandiego.gov
 
SAN DIEGO – As part of his commitment to keep all San Diegans safe, Mayor Todd Gloria was joined by Members of the City Council, public safety officials, and community members to highlight the public safety investments in the fiscal year 2023 proposed budget, which includes full funding for Police, Fire-Rescue, and Lifeguard personnel and operations.  

“The No. 1 expectation San Diegans have of their City leadership is that we’re working to keep them safe, and that means having people in place to respond quickly and effectively when they call for help,” Mayor Todd Gloria said. “I’ve been clear: lawlessness will not rule the day in our city – and this budget reflects that. We are investing in the brave men and women who serve our city and ensuring they have the proper equipment and facilities for operations and training to do their jobs effectively.”

The Mayor’s proposed “Ready to Rebuild” budget for fiscal year 2023 fully funds the San Diego Police Department with $584 million to support personnel, equipment and facilities. This is an increase of $13.8 million over the prior year’s operating budget. The enhanced resources for SDPD include an additional $5.5 million for overtime in the department to help ensure the necessary patrol coverage.

It also anticipates pay increases likely to result from contract negotiations under way now with the bargaining units representing police, firefighters and lifeguards. This is illustrative of the Mayor’s commitment to make compensation for the City of San Diego’s first responders competitive with that of other regional agencies in order to bolster recruitment and retention of public safety personnel.

The proposed budget also provides funding to support a concerted recruitment and retention effort to address SDPD’s chronic understaffing. Currently, staffing at the department is higher than eight of the past nine years; however, the department is trying to fill 200 remaining vacancies in order to achieve full staffing in order to respond more quickly to calls and maintain a calming presence in areas experiencing a surge in crime.

The Fire-Rescue Department will continue to enjoy strong funding, with enhancements to facilities, equipment and personnel. The proposed budget adds two Marine Safety Lieutenants to ensure 24-hour response and emergency management operations in the coastal area.

It also addresses longstanding facilities needs, including funding environmental work required in order to build the Fairmont Avenue and Skyline Hills fire stations; replacing the Lifeguard Division's 40-year-old Boating Safety Unit Locker Room; and replacing a lifeguard tower that is well past its useful life.

“It is all of our responsibility to work together to ensure we provide adequate funding and support for these services to foster safe communities for all residents, families and visitors to San Diego,” said Council President pro Tem Monica Montgomery-Steppe, who chairs the City Council’s Public Safety & Livable Neighborhoods Committee. “I believe we must prioritize public safety from a holistic approach, and I am happy to see a proposed budget that reflects our commitment to improving the quality of life for every individual in our city.”

“Protecting the residents of San Diego is our number one priority as elected officials. I strongly support Mayor Gloria’s investment in public safety to ensure that San Diego remains one of the safest big cities in the country,” said Councilmember Raul Campillo, who represents Council District 7 and sits on the Public Safety and Livable Neighborhoods Committee. “It’s imperative that we continue to invest in our police, firefighters, EMS workers and lifeguards to keep public safety in the forefront. The mayor understands this well and the proposed budget reflects this. As we listen to the public over the next several weeks and receive more data on revenue, I look to bolster it even further.”

Thursday’s event was held at Belmont Park and included stakeholders from around the city who support increased investments in public safety – particularly a well-resourced Police Department in the face of rising crime. While San Diego remains among the safest big cities in the United States, a rise in violent crime has spurred calls for reassurance that City leaders are committing sufficient resources to patrolling and emergency response.

“Public Safety is one of the main concerns of my constituents in Mission Beach,” said Councilmember Dr. Jennifer Campbell. “That’s why I support extra policing and patrolling in our beach communities to ensure that our families, residents, businesses, and tourists feel safe. It is essential that Police, Lifeguards, and Fire Rescue, in District 2, have the budget and staff they need to maintain public safety."

“It’s great to see Mayor Gloria and our city leaders give public safety the attention, funding and resources needed to keep our busy beach community safe,” said Sarah Mattinson, who owns a café in Mission Beach near Belmont Park. “Strong leadership on this issue is critical, especially for business owners like myself in light of rising crime in San Diego and across the nation. We welcome an increased police presence and want to make sure all public safety personnel, including our lifeguards, are well-supported to continue to keep us safe.”

In addition to direct crime-fighting measures, the proposed budget includes programs and services aimed at preventing crime from occurring. The Mayor proposed continuing investment in the “No Shots Fired” program, a comprehensive outreach program that seeks to reduce gang violence through community- and faith-based interventions. The budget also funds such measures as additional graffiti abatement, homeless encampment cleanups, and faster response to abandoned vehicles and other quality-of-life issues in neighborhoods.

“The City’s annual budget is a reflection of our priorities as a community. We’re grateful to see core services, public safety, homelessness resources, and support for small businesses – all  critical to Downtown – prioritized within this year's draft,” said Betsy Brennan, President and CEO of the Downtown San Diego Partnership. ”Thank you, Mayor Gloria, city staff, and Independent Budget Analyst staff for preparing the draft FY23 City Budget. On behalf of our Downtown community, we ask the Council to continue to prioritize the core serves that will keep our urban core clean and safe for residents and visitors."

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