San Fran. City Board Votes For Officers To Use Guns More Instead Of Using Tasers

The San Francisco Board of Supervisors cut the $2 million the mayor had put into the city's budget for Tasers.

San Francisco, CA – The San Francisco Police Department is the last urban police force in the United States that has not equipped its cops with Tasers as a less-lethal force option, and if politicians in that city have it their way, officers will never get them.

In November of 2017, the San Francisco police commission finally authorized Tasers for its officers, and San Francisco Mayor Mark Farrell put $2 million in the budget for the coming fiscal year to buy the electronic stun guns, KGO-TV reported.

But on June 25, the city’s Board of Supervisors voted 3-2 to cut the mayor’s budget proposal for the Tasers, preventing the city from buying them.

Supervisor Sandra Lee Fewer made the motion to defund the Taser project and said she wanted a more "comprehensive" understanding of the total costs of arming police with the less-lethal weapons before moving forward, KGO reported.

Fewer said her decision was based on costs, and not the politics surrounding the fact that she opposes giving police Tasers.

“I feel my job on the budget committee is to weigh everything with a budget focus,” she told the San Francisco Chronicle. “This has been about fiscal and financial responsibility. That’s what the people of San Francisco deserve.”

Fewer cited a budget analysis prepared by the city that said the upfront cost of purchasing and implementing Taser use would cost the city upwards of $7 million up front, despite the fact the police department had only requested $3.5 million.

However, the study upon which she based her decision was out-of-date and inaccurate, according to San Francisco Police Commander Peter Walsh.

Commander Walsh said the report by the city’s Budget and Legislative Analyst’s Office estimated the costs of purchasing and implementing the Taser program on numbers from the sheriff’s department from more than a decade ago, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.

He said the sheriff’s department paid $2,200 per Taser, and that the San Francisco PD would be able to acquire them for $1,600 each.

“We’re talking about a $600 difference, and if you multiply that across 2,000 officers, that’s a dramatic drop,” he said.

He also said there was no reason to add money into the budget for Taser training because that was already covered within the department’s training budget. Eight hundred of the city’s officers have already been trained on Tasers.

The holdup by the Supervisors could undo a lot of work that’s been put into the implementation process by the San Francisco Police Department, the city’s Police Commission, and the officers’ union, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.

“The policy goes through an arduous process and all of that seemingly could be lost, which would be a shame,” San Francisco Police Officers Association Vice President Rick Andreotti said. “My concern is, what kind of message does that send to the men and women of the San Francisco Police Department? That politics is more important than not only their safety, but the safety of the people of San Francisco.”

Upcoming changes to the city’s Police Commission will not help the cause of Taser advocates.

The commission president died in May, and another police-friendly commissioner did not get reappointed, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

Add to that the fact that the Board of Supervisors didn’t approve the reappointment of two commissioners who were in support of the Tasers because they were seen as being in cahoots with the police union.

Furthermore, a ballot measure called Proposition H put forward by the Police Officers Association failed in the June election, KGO reported.

Had it passed, Prop H would have allowed police to use Tasers on anyone actively resisting officers, and set a firm deadline that would have put the less-lethal devices into the hands of all San Francisco officers before the end of 2018.

Retired American Civil Liberties Union attorney John Crew celebrated the Supervisors’ move to cancel funding for Tasers.

“We cannot pretend the last eight months didn’t happen,” he said. “The Police Commission voted that we’re going to do Tasers, and there could have been an orderly process of how to budget them and roll them out. But the police officers association chose to blow it up and tried to undercut the chief and the commission with Prop. H.”

The police department has the opportunity to present documentation of what it said were the accurate costs associated with implementing the Taser program.

“You can always request a midyear budget appropriation,” Fewer said. “We do that all the time.”

San Francisco Police Chief Bill Scott, the fourth chief in a row to advocate for arming the police force with Tasers, has not given up.

Chief Scott said he was working on the accurate budget to present to the board and continuing to move forward internally with training and planning for when the Tasers are approved, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.

“We will continue with the things we had to do with implementation,” the chief said. “It’s just a matter of timing.”

Comments (23)
No. 1-23
LEO0301
LEO0301

Why would anyone want to be a police officer in any city on the west coast? If you are, remember there are plenty of law enforcement jobs available on the east coast in cities not run by liberals.

LordSeamus
LordSeamus

Got to love bean counters.......now if a cop shoots someone that they could have tasered, will the commision be held accountable ? I hope so !

GForce48
GForce48

Politicians and law enforcement is disastrous mixture.

CaptCap
CaptCap

Plaintiffs’ Attorneys filing excessive physical force/wrongful death claims will have a field day with this idiotic decision.

Dpatrick
Dpatrick

The first multi million dollar settlement by the city, jury mandated, because a cop had too shoot instead of tase a perpetrator, will dwarf the two million cost of the taser project.

Budman
Budman

Police Officers will be screwed thanks liberal douche bags!!

BlueLady
BlueLady

Maybe San Francisco will experience the same mass exodus of Police Officers that Seattle did. Good luck keeping your city safe.

Ladyfluterby
Ladyfluterby

Just another example of why SF has become the disgusting place it is.

Seamus
Seamus

I know this will not be a popular opinion, however, I am glad they don't want to give officers less than lethal weaponry.... I have seen too many cases of those things not working well enough against drugged up or adrenaline filled criminals... LTL weapons endanger the police and should not be utilized

TarnishedCopper
TarnishedCopper

It is a shame that "Liberality" has to be the deciding factor. However Tasers came about after I ended my 30 year career in law enforcement. We got by without them, by using pepper spray, nightsticks and an occasional .357 magnum bullet, and they can get by without them as well. It is my opinion that talking with, reasoning and counseling people has gone away and been replaced by Tasers, Spray, and other "less-than-lethal" equipment. Cops make more arrests today based upon differences of opinion than they ever have before. No wonder our jails, courts and prisons are bulging at the seams...

magnumforc
magnumforc

The most idiotic illogical stance in the USA. This will result in millions, maybe billions pissed away defending lawsuits on use of deadly force when a less lethal alternative could be used. I note none of the supervisors put their ass on the line every day and they personally are held harmless in lawsuits. The epitome of the Granola State foolishness.

bluedog_2g2
bluedog_2g2

Even if it cost the city the 7 million, to implement the Taser program, that Fewer erroneously reported, that is far cheaper than a multimillion dollar pay out for even one sustained "use of force" claim, when an officer had no option but to pull their firearm...

Katarina
Katarina

I want to know just what this Fewer person was doing for the past seven months since the tazers were approved. NOW she wants more comprehensive understanding of the costs?? Replace her with someone who actually DOES their job.

yankeetude
yankeetude

Another reason I’ll never go to SF or California again! Absolutely Zero Support for LEO’s and the laws of this country!

Just-My-Thoughts
Just-My-Thoughts

I can't take much more of the stupidity.. What the hell is wrong with all these politicians? They all need enemas, every day for a month. They must think with their head up that end anyway and need to be cleaned out. Sorry......just my thoughts.

kgolfinghawaii
kgolfinghawaii

every one of these whack-job supervisors, that voted not to give them tasers, will turn on a dime and criticize them or call them murderers if the police have to shoot somebody instead of using a taser.

IPOC
IPOC

Well heck then I hope the police use their guns in place of using tasers...Thugs resist blow them away.Thugs run blow them away etc...More power to the police....Just watch out for all of the piles a human waste laying around.

IPOC
IPOC

Trump needs to militarize all police & issue them orders & the rights to shoot who they deem a threat.

Hi_estComnDenomn
Hi_estComnDenomn

@IPOC You are weaponized autism. Shut the fuck up.

gfc1963
gfc1963

Thats a bit rich coming from the likes of you.

Walt 324
Walt 324

Jerry Brown and the San Fran Liberals have destroyed the most beautiful city in America. It’s now the #1 Shithole city in America.

Hi_estComnDenomnn
Hi_estComnDenomnn

San Francisco is the place I fell in love with Arnold Schwarzenegger. Oh man that the way he bench presses those conservatives....

ByAnyMeansNecessary
ByAnyMeansNecessary

@Hi_estComnDenomnn Dumbfuck. Schwarz is republican.