2019 Public Safety & Livable Neighborhoods Committee Priorities

DATE: January 22, 2019 

TO: Councilmember Monica Montgomery, Chair, Public Safety & Livable Neighborhoods Committee 

FROM: Councilmember Vivian Moreno  

SUBJECT: 2019 Public Safety & Livable Neighborhoods Committee Priorities (Print Memo)

I am looking forward to serving on the Public Safety & Livable Neighborhoods (PS&LN)  Committee under your leadership in 2019. The city has the opportunity to take positive steps forward to invest in underserved communities and ensure our public safety departments  provide equitable and responsive service to all neighborhoods throughout San Diego. In response  to your memorandum soliciting priorities for the PS&LN Committee, I urge your careful consideration of the following: 

Community Development Block Grant Funding Allocations 
Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funding is critical to ensuring underserved neighborhoods receive the investment in infrastructure and programming needed to provide a high quality of life for residents. The city utilizes the repayment of the CDBG program income from San Diego’s redevelopment successor agency through the Reinvestment Initiative. Given that the city is in the final year of its existing consolidated plan, the Committee should discuss how best to target this additional CDBG program income in future years. Additional CDBG income may be better spent directly on public infrastructure that supports transit oriented development and the creation of affordable housing opportunities in Low and Moderate Income census tracts.

De-escalation Training for the Police Department 
De-escalation training is critical for all law enforcement agencies to invest in for officers who, on a regular basis, must interact with individuals in a variety of situations ranging from aggressive behavior, confusion or those affected by mental illness. By providing on-going de-escalation training and techniques for officers, the San Diego Police Department can more often avoid violent confrontations. I would request that the Committee receive an update from the Chief of Police on the Police Department’s current de-escalation training and how the Department intends to expand its investment in this training for officers. 

Recruitment and Retention of Police Officers 
The city must continue to prioritize the recruitment and retention of police officers. Recent budgets allocated funding towards recruitment and retention efforts, including a salary increase. These are positive steps in the right direction, but more must be done. The Committee should hear an in-depth analysis from the Police Department of officer attrition to determine how best to modify retention efforts and its recruiting program. Additionally, the Police Department should consider retaining a third-party contractor to anonymously survey Sworn Police Officers and Civilian Police Employees on how to conduct exit interviews when employees decide to leave. The information gathered through these interviews would provide valuable insight into how best to retain officers in the future. 

Public Safety Communications Vacancy Rates 
There are high vacancy rates of safety dispatchers in the Police Department (14 vacancies as of 1/6/2019) and Fire-Rescue Department Fire-Rescue Department (15 as of 1/6/2019). The city has been using mandatory overtime to ensure continued staffing, which is not a sustainable strategy from either a budgetary standpoint or for employee morale. The Committee should hear an update from the Police and Fire-Rescue Departments on steps being taken to hire more communications employees. 

Citygate Consultants Update 
The Committee should receive an update from the Citygate consultants regarding a revised fire station priority list and associated recommendations for Fire-Rescue operational needs. 

Enforcement of Barrio Logan Truck Route 
The Committee should receive an update from the Police Department regarding the enforcement plan for the revised Barrio Logan Truck Route approved by the City Council in December 2018. 

CC: Honorable Mayor Faulconer 
Honorable City Attorney Elliott 
Andrea Tevlin, Independent Budget Analyst 


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