BY George C. Upper III, The Western JournalMarch 20, 2023
1 year ago
 | March 20, 2023
1 year ago

Democratic Politician Who Called for Defunding the Police Reverses Course, Begs for More Officers in Her District

It wasn't all that long ago that San Francisco District 9 Supervisor Hillary Ronen was delighted to cut police officers from the force and shift that money to other budget items.

"I want to make it clear that I believe strongly in defunding the police and reducing the number of officers on our force," Ronen tweeted in August of 2020.

"For decades we’ve had an imbalance in our city’s budget, with hundreds of millions of dollars going to SFPD to have them do work they are not qualified to do."

Oh, what a difference a couple of years can make.

“What I want to hear from you and the Mayor’s Office is why have we spent so much money guarding shoppers when we’ve been begging for officers in our neighborhoods where shootings, assaults, overdoses, drug deaths [and] thefts from local small businesses have been unbelievably off the hook,” Ronen said Wednesday to Assistant Chief David Lazar at a Board of Supervisors meeting, according to The San Francisco Standard.

“You could have taken [officer hours] from Central [Station], where you were guarding Versace," she said.

The idea that San Francisco's Democratic mayor, London Breed, was more interested in protecting designer accessories than the city's residents appeared to be a common theme for the evening.

“There seems to have been more investments from the mayor directing her police department to protect designer bags more than the Asian elders, who have been under attack for the last two years,” District 1 Supervisor Connie Chan, chair of the Budget and Appropriations Committee, said during the same meeting.

"I've been begging this department to give the Mission what it deserves in terms of police presence all year long," Ronen said, according to Fox News. "And I have been told time and time and time and time again there are no officers that we can send to Mission."

"It hurts. And I feel betrayed by the department. I feel betrayed by the mayor. I feel betrayed by the priorities of the city," the Democratic politician added.

Ronen's 2020 tweet was not calling for defunding so much as it was issued in support of defunding that had already been announced.

Breed's announced budget in July 2020 shifted significant money from law enforcement to "invest in the city's African American communities," KTVU reported at the time.

"We will redirect $120 million from law enforcement to support these priorities over the next two years," Breed said, though union officials expressed reservations, saying "that by not filling vacancies our department will be stretched thinner."

Breed had also told the police union that wages would have to be frozen for two years to make her budget work, and if the union wouldn't agree, some officers would be laid off.

Only 18 months later, amid rising crime and calls for "accountability," Breed announced an emergency request for more law enforcement funds from the Board of Supervisors.

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

Written by: George C. Upper III, The Western Journal



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