Measure to create neighborhood crime fighting unit fails

The San Francisco Police Department will not create a special neighborhood crime fighting unit after voters appear to have rejected Proposition R on Tuesday.

Prop. R was viewed by supporters as an accountability tool to make sure police are addressing property crimes as well as violent crimes. The measure would have required that 3 percent of the Police Department be assigned to such a unit.

While the language of the proposition admitted that most crime is down, it noted that property crime remains an issue in many lower crime areas that don’t have as much police presence as areas with high crime.

Supervisor Scott Wiener, who sponsored the measure, said the unit would have ensure the department commits resources to crimes such as vandalism, bike thefts, auto break ins and burglaries.

But opponents argued the measure wouldn’t achieve what it set out to address, in part because the neighborhood crime unit won’t be assigned to neighborhood police stations but rather work as a centralized unit based out of SFPD’s Mission Bay headquarters.

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