San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee on Tuesday announced a $17.5 million package to fund comprehensive police department reforms to heighten public safety and rebuild trust with the community.
One of the key actions in the reform package is overhauling the department's use of force policies, which have been at the center of contentious protests and a call to fire Chief Greg Suhr in the wake of officers' fatal shooting of Mario Woods in December.
The new policies will train officers to put "the sanctity of life at the center of every decision," according to the mayor's statement, with a goal of reducing up to 80 percent of officer-involved shootings.
“These critical investments in funding police department reform, rebuilding community trust and bringing a culture change in how we handle conflicts on our streets will help keep San Francisco one of the safest big cities in the nation,” Lee said. “We are working collaboratively with the community to develop a 21st-century approach to policing, improving leadership, transparency and accountability."
The two-year package allocates $4.4 million for officer training and equipment, including a program that will equip every patrol officer with a body-worn camera over the next two years. Programs for oversight and violence prevention also have been budgeted.
Lee said the city is working under the full review of the U.S. Department of Justice. The DOJ in its earlier review of the department had said it was making progress with its initial reforms but that it had a lot more work to do to improve its policies and rebuild community trust.