A liberal newspaper in San Francisco rejected city officials’ “absurdly complicated” solution to a police officer shortage in the city in its Friday editorial.

“San Francisco needs more police officers. Full stop,” the San Francisco Chronicle editorial board wrote. However, the board disagreed with the Board of Supervisors’ Prop B initiative to require a minimum staffing level that is funded through an unspecified new or amended tax.

Democratic San Francisco Mayor London Breed was one of several city leaders across the nation who defunded the police in 2020, redirecting $120 million from law enforcement to fund other city initiatives. 

Since then, the city has increased police spending, but the department is still down nearly 600 officers and only has 75% of the officers needed to meet workload demands, the city announced last April. The Chronicle rejected the notion that the defund movement had hurt officer recruitment and argued the city had made hiring new officers too difficult.

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“We don’t need a ballot measure or special tax to streamline the hiring process, which is woefully broken. It can take close to a year to hire a new officer because of unnecessary red tape,” the board argued.

As a result, the city is spending tens of millions of dollars on overtime” because there aren’t enough officers to do the job, it continued. 

“The status quo is fiscally irresponsible, and it’s safe to say San Franciscans also generally want more police on the streets.”

Mayor Breed could expand the police recruitment budget, and the city could provide driving lessons for recruits who wanted to apply but grew up in the city without learning to drive, they suggested.

“Nothing is meaningfully standing in the way of increasing our police force except our public officials’ efforts and competence. We need an action plan to improve hiring, not vague ideas to throw more money at the problem,” the board concluded.

“Unfortunately, it’s an absurdly complicated item that never should have appeared on the ballot,” the board deemed Prop. B.

‘CRIME SHOT UP’: SAN FRANCISCO POLICE UNION CHIEF BLAMES DEFUND MOVEMENT FOR CITY’S LAWLESSNESS

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Law enforcement veterans have argued the defund the police movement led to a ripple effect across the nation, leading to less safe communities and officers leaving the force.

The homelessness crisis also continues to plague some neighborhoods in the city, according to business owners who spoke to the Chronicle last month, and retailers continue to flee the city.

A 30-year police veteran with the SFPD previously told Fox News that the city’s defund the police movement was “1000%” responsible for crime spiking in the city in recent years.

Fox News Digital reached out to Supervisor Safai, who spearheaded Prop. B, for comment.

Fox News’ Jon Michael Raasch and Ramiro Vargas contributed to this report.

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