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Concerns Growing Over San Francisco Police Department Staffing

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San Francisco Police, generic (AP Graphic)

(AP)

SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) – In order to save money, the San Francisco Police Department failed to replace the 100 officers who retired or left the force last year, leaving many concerned about police staffing.

The move saved both the department and city millions of dollars, this as former San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom called on each city department to cut 10 percent of its budget.

In the department’s proposed budget, there are also plans to cut police academy classes next year, with would save the city and department about $5 million per class.

The classes are the main tool for training possible replacements within the department.

KCBS’ Bob Melrose Reports:

But the moves have left San Francisco Police Commissioner James Slaughter concerned about public safety.

“There are many important issues that come before this Commission, but none more important than that,” Slaughter said.

San Francisco Interim Police Chief Jeff Godown said he understands the concerns.

“We’re doing everything on our end as a department to look at every administrative position to see if we can put them out in the field,” Godown said. ”We are looking at a 20 percent reduction in staff.”

He said that in order to maintain the staffing they have now, he needs two academy classes each year just to stay even.

The department is hiring 19 new officers, who have been lured from other departments.

(© 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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