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November 1, 2022
Tracy McCray - SFPOA President

San Franciscans have a choice to make when they turn in their ballots for this election. Do they want to start on the road to recovery, no pun intended, or do they want to see the city keep circling the drain with no end to what is plaguing it. We all see it, the open air drug use, the smoking and injecting of drugs on the sidewalks, the mentally ill in deep pain screaming and talking to themselves, the graffiti on homes and businesses, and the trash throughout every corner of the city. People who have lost touch with reality as they roam the streets barely dressed or layered with old clothes on top of old clothes. The trickle of tourists who are brave enough to venture around town because they are still looking to see the beauty of our city, even when many of us can’t at times.

So what is it going to be? We, the police, can’t do it all by ourselves, from arresting and investigating every crime, to handling the other 21,000 calls for mental health and homelessness that are being disguised and coded as something else. Oh, and all the other calls that aren’t even related to a criminal matter. But hey, people call 911 because that is the number you call when you need help!
Electing people who have a collective interest in helping all of San Francisco, not just one segment or area is the first step. I think people can see with their own eyes who is out there trying to make life in San Francisco a little better everyday for their constituents, versus those who are just giving lip service as things continue to deteriorate. The same goes for candidates who are putting on what they think is their best face, when they have no clue about how to do a job they have never done before, as well as stretching the truth about the credentials they have. All they are willing to do is destroy an imperfect system, but at what cost? We can all agree the system is broken, but they were elected to work within it. Talking about improvement and working on improvement are two different things. Unwillingness to come to the table does nothing for the safety and interests of the community. Those counting on electing a working government body to keep them safe are being failed time and time again by the pettiness of people in power who, quite frankly, do not know what the hell they are doing — and they don’t care. Many of these people are not from San Francisco and are gunning for higher office. San Francisco is a speed bump on the way. And who does it hurt when those in power are not invested in the community? We have seen the results many times because we are here and have been here.

Almost three years ago, certain candidates jumped on the bandwagon to defund and abolish the police. Social justice or self-interest? Imagine that, jumping on the bandwagon just because it got them some free publicity for a hot minute. Never mind that the San Francisco Police Department is one of the most progressive departments in the country, and has been for many years. Let’s just collectively forget the work that has been done in community policing and the partnerships that have been forged. Progress be damned!

I often wonder what they thought was going to happen to ordinary people who are just trying to make it through the day and yes, call the police when they legitimately have a crisis. For example, being a victim of an assault, robbery or god forbid a more serious crime? People living in rare air forget about them until, bingo it’s election time. Then they conveniently do a one eighty and say, yes we need the police and of course we can do policing better…blah blah blah. What they all fail to understand is that some people, not all, make bad decisions over and over again to the point that the police have to get involved as they continue to choose to commit criminal acts. In other words, some criminals aren’t going to stop doing what they are doing, just because someone says we should defund or abolish the police. Now minds are changing on the defund strategy. It just doesn’t work.

Voters have a simple choice. They can vote for people who want to turn it around by working together and hold everyone accountable, not just us. Or, they can vote for the same people who got us to this point, which will keep the streets looking exactly like they are now, with the filth, crime and ugliness. Make no mistake though, it will be far worse.