San Francisco Police, Fire Chiefs Outline Possible Cuts

SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) – San Francisco Police Chief Jeff Godown and Fire Chief Joanne Hayes-White have suggested some sobering cuts to their respective budgets to close the city’s $306 million deficit.

Fire Chief Joanne Hayes-White reluctantly proposed brown out at four fire stations. Stations in the Chinatown, the Mission, the Richmond and the Tenderloin would be open only half the time to save $5 million.

“Not something that I’m advocating for,” she told the supervisors Budget and Finance Committee on Wednesday.

“But if you’re looking for additional solutions, these are what we’ve come up with,” she said.

KCBS’ Barbara Taylor Reports:

The Police Department has another $11 million to cut from its budget. Police Chief Godown said 171 officers could be laid off if the department doesn’t agree to waive a scheduled pay increase.

“Every creative idea is on the table,” he said.

That would mean fewer foot patrols and mounted police, as well as cuts in the canine unit, the gang task force, the narcotics division, and community relations. District station hours would also be cut.

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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

  • Seamus


    On KCBS this morning, I heard Chief Hayes-White whip out the old cudgel against reducing costs in the

    SFFD by saying the only way to reduce costs is to close, or brown-out 2, 3 or 4 San Francisco Firehouses.

    This time she even added, one of which would be in Chinatown. Now that is “Scare Tactics.”

    Especially with a Chinese-American Mayor.

    Chief Hayes White continues to ignore where cuts can be safely made in the SFFD, and choosing to point out to the voters the thing they fear most, the closing of a neighborhood firehouse.

    Would politicians and voters rise up if she said the following?

    “In order not to shut down 3 engine companies in San Francisco, I have decided to reduce the number of daily Chiefs’ drivers from 6 positions to zero, and reduce the daily number of Battalion and Assistant Chiefs in Fire Suppression from 12 to 8. I do this because 80% to 90% of our dispatches are medical-related and that we only average one structural fire per day in San Francisco. I do not want to make any cuts, but, due to budgetary restraints, I feel this reduction will have the lesser impact upon fire safety in our City. It means we will continue to have the same number of Engines, Trucks, Rescue Squads and all will be fully manned just as before, when fighting our fires.
    At every fire, everyone will be there except the Chiefs’ DRIVERS will be missing.

    Cost analysis shows that closing 3 firehouses for a year would save $7,191,000.
    Eliminating the 6 Chiefs’ drivers and reducing Chiefs in the field by 4 each day, we would see a yearly savings of $7,990,000
    I hope you all will agree with me, that this is a sensible solution to this budgetary crisis.”

    Please don’t allow Chief Hayes White to continue fabricating that closing firehouses (our worst fear) is the only way to substantially reduce costs in her Department.

    Sincerely yours,

    Basic Math on the savings for this sensible plan.

    Civil Service and the Comptroller agree, it takes 4.7 employees to man a position 24/7/365.

    6 Chiefs Drivers per day means the City is paying 28.2 Drivers, appx. $140,000 a year or a total of $3,948,000.

    4 Battalion Chiefs per day means the City is paying 18.8 Chiefs appx. $215,000 a year or a total of $4,092,000

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