Patrol Specials can help city cut cost of policing

Supervisor Sean Elsbernd is leading the charge to drop the double-dip DROP program, which the San Francisco controller says costs us taxpayers $52 million more than hiring new SFPD officers. Huzzah! Elsbernd says “new police officers are cheaper than old police officers.”

So why is he not talking about an even cheaper policing alternative? Why doesn’t The City contract with the private Patrol Special Police to cover some basic security needs such as in the public library, on MUNI buses, on troubled streets, and outside of entertainment venues?

Patrol Specials are not employees of the Police Department, thus taxpayers pay no high police salaries, benefits and pensions. They don’t give officers an incentive to retire at an unbelievably young age of 55 to move into DROP.

The City will do wrong if they fail to take advantage of the enlightened neighborhood policing and fiscal savings these officers provide.

Ann Grogan, San Francisco

$35M for ex-PG&E boss?

I couldn’t believe my eyes when I read your article on PG&E boss Peter Darbee making an early exit and getting $35 million for doing so — after being there only six years. One would think that making numerous bad decisions that hurt your company would get you shown the door without any golden parachute.

I wonder how this sort of payout goes over with the majority of Bay Area residents, who are working hard to pay their bills and hoping to keep going till they qualify for Social Security.

Tim Donnelly, San Francisco

Bikers need to heed signs

Driving through the Mission every morning, I watch countless bicyclists careen past stop signs, rather than wait their turn. I have found that if I stop for only a second, and then proceed, these cyclists will still try to call my bluff and beat me through the intersection. One young man recently tried to correct his error when he saw I was still going to cross, but it was nearly too late, and he had an embarrassing moment in the middle of the intersection, in front of a lot of people. So if I follow the law, and stop at the sign, even for just a second, and the cyclist does not stop at all, whose side would a court be on in an accident?

Bryan Mitchell, San Francisco

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