San Francisco tries to recruit cops from TEXAS as it faces shortage of hundreds of officers – and business leaders like Salesforce’s Marc Benioff slam the city’s widespread homelessness and drug use
San Francisco is trying to recruit cops from Texas as it faces a shortage of officers, after businessman Marc Benioff slammed the city’s homeless and drug problems.
The San Francisco Police Department (SFPD) is visiting four Texas university campuses throughout the month as part of a new recruitment drive.
Candidates from outside of the state of California will take a written test, a physical ability test and an interview to see if they make they cut.
A police spokesperson told the San Francisco Standard that the number of estimated applications this year is 2,104, nearly a 20 percent increase from 1,756 last year.
The recruitment push comes as the department faces staffing issues, causing it to pay out high amounts of overtime.
Representatives for the California force are currently on a recruitment drive, visiting four Universities in Texas
As part of the move, the SFPD is visiting four universities, with the poster for Sam Houston State seen here
The four Texan universities are Texas Southern University, Sam Houston State University, Prairie View A&M University and Texas A&M University Corpus Christi
The Standard reported that between 2017 and 2022, cops spent $88.9 million more on its employees, despite working fewer hours.
The four Texan universities being targeted are Texas Southern University, Sam Houston State University, Prairie View A&M University and Texas A&M University Corpus Christi.
Following widespread calls for reforms that swept the nation following the murder of George Floyd, the department in the California city had it funding cut.
Mayor London Breed was one of the first to openly speak out in support of defunding the police.
During a July 2020 press conference, Breed said: ‘We chose to change how this city and how this country treats our young Black men.’
Breed announced $120 million would be cut from the police and sheriff’s departments to reinvest in programs that help black and brown communities.
The following year, Breed u-turned on the decision and increased the police budget as the city faced a rampant rise in property crime and looting.
At the time, she said: ‘More aggressive with the changes in our policies and less tolerant with all the bulls*** that has destroyed our city.’
Mayor London Breed speaks during the celebration of the 9th Annual Chinatown Night Out in San Francisco, California, United States on September 6, 2023
Latest figures up until Sunday show that there have been more homicides so far this year than the whole of last year
Last year the San Francisco Board of Supervisors approved a $50 million increase in SFPD’s budget.
Latest figures up until Sunday show that there have been more homicides so far this year than the whole of last year.
So far, there have been 40 murders in the city in 2023, while there was just 36 last year.
Likewise, the number of robberies in the city is also higher now than for the whole of last year, with 1,989 reported incidents this year, compared to just 1,704 last year.
The number of total crimes this year is also closely catching up with last year’s full total, with 36,573 crimes committed this year, compared to 37,674 in 2022.
It comes after Salesforce Inc. CEO Marc Benioff said that he had pushed officials in the city to clean the place up before the company’s annual conference.
AI convention Dreamforce, which draws 40,000 people from around the world according to the company, was held in the city last week.
During a press event on Wednesday, Benioff said: ‘We put a lot of pressure on the city this year. It looks great. It’s very safe right now. We’re moving in the right direction.’
Benioff, 58, held the event at the Moscone Center, which is in an area that is currently facing issues including homelessness, crime and open air drug markets, according to Kron4.
Benioff also posted on the social media platform X, formerly known as Twitter, saying: ‘San Francisco has been incredibly clean, beautiful, and safe for the last 3 days of Dreamforce.
‘It is great that the city is able to put its best foot forward for this major event that brings in 40K people from around the world, and $80M to the economy.
‘It is important to ask why the city cannot be this clean and safe every single day?’
Salesforce Inc. CEO Marc Benioff, pictured here, said he had pushed officials in the beleaguered California city to clean the place up
The AI convention, which draws 40,000 people from around the world according to the company, was held in the city over the past few days
Benioff had previously warned that the company could pull the large scale convention from the city due to the ongoing problems it is facing.
He told The San Francisco Chronicle: ‘If this Dreamforce is impacted by the current situation with homelessness and drug use it may be the last Dreamforce.’
Mayor London Breed responded to Benioff’s claim that Dreamforce made the city’s transformation possible.
She told ABC7 News: ‘It’s not just because of Dreamforce. There are other conventions. This is what we do for every convention that comes to SF.
‘My pushback is San Francisco changing. Things are getting better.’
Despite this, Mayor Breed did concede that some areas of the city, particularly the Tenderloin and South of Market, did still present challenges.
The city has struggled for years with rampant fentanyl use and fatal overdoses, and is on pace for its deadliest year yet.
More than 849 people are expected to die of drug overdoses in 2023, on pace to exceed the current record of 720 deaths in 2020
In the first five months of 2023, preliminary reports show there were 346 overdose deaths in the city – an increase of more than 40 percent from the same period in 2022.
Latest figures show that overdose deaths are continuing to rise, soaring in August with an additional 84 deaths, 66 involving fentanyl.
Economists have warned the city is spiraling into an ‘urban doom loop’ – a vicious circle of interconnected trends and forces that send cities into economic and social ruin.
Over the past few months, dozens of retailers announced they would be vacating the downtown area of the city.
Drug addicts and the homeless congregate in the Tenderloin District of the California city
Open drug use is now common in the city, something which the police are cracking down on
San Francisco Police have attempted to shut down open-air drugs markets in the hard-hit Tenderloin and SoMa areas of the city. Pictured: 64-year-old Deliada Valdez who has been homeless for four years is seen in Tenderloin District of San Francisco, California, United States on August 28, 2023
Retail stalwart Old Navy announced they would be shuttering their flagship store in the area last month, becoming the latest chain to exit the city.
Nordstrom also announced they would be closing all of their locations in the city.
The company said that due to the ‘changing dynamics’ of San Francisco it would be shuttering all remaining stores in the next few months.
In April, Whole Foods announced it was closing all their locations, with Anthropologie and Office Depot having also made the same decisions.
High theft has proved a problem in the area recently, with a Walgreens in the city center resolving to chaining their freezers to stop shoplifters.
A map reveals the major businesses which have left, or plan to leave, San Francisco in recent months
A disturbing recent report showed 95 retailers in downtown San Francisco have closed since the start of the COVID pandemic, a decline of more than 50 percent.
Out of 203 retailers open in 2019 in the city’s Union Square area, just 107 are still operating, a drop of 47 percent in just a few pandemic-ravaged years.
One Target store in the city has been forced to lock up more of its products to stave off thieves.
An employee at the location previously said it was being robbed as often as ‘every ten minutes.’
Video footage of another Target has been shared on social media and shows large quantities of their stock now behind barriers.