Proposition E asks voters to change a provision in San Francisco’s charter that requires the police force to have 1,971 sworn officers. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)

Proposition E asks voters to change a provision in San Francisco’s charter that requires the police force to have 1,971 sworn officers. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)

Voters supporting Prop. E to set SFPD staffing levels with data

A ballot measure that would remove the arbitrary mandate requiring San Francisco to have at least 1,971 sworn officers on the police force has passed.

Proposition E, from Board of Supervisors President Norman Yee, had 238,319, or nearly 72 percent, of votes in returns released early Wednesday morning. The measure requires a simple majority to pass.

The measure removes the staffing requirement embedded in the City Charter and instead creates a data-approach for determining how many cops are needed.

San Francisco has rarely ever met the 1,971 minimum staffing level that voters placed into the charter in 1994.

The figure was the result of a consent decree that required The City to boost the number of women and officers of color in the San Francisco Police Department by having least 1,971 cops on the force between 1981 and 1984. It was not based on actual need but rather on funding available at the time.

The measure was opposed by retired Judge Quentin Kopp of the San Francisco Taxpayers Association, who argued that it came at an unnecessary cost to taxpayers.

The San Francisco Police Officers Association similarly argued that The City already doesn’t meet the minimum staffing number — so why pay to remove it.

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