Nobody wants to lay off workers, and that includes police Chief George Gascn, who is tasked with trimming $30 million from his department’s budget — of which 90 percent is comprised of police officer salaries and benefits — by July 1.
The department’s officers can save themselves from the chopping block, however, through their own generosity. With the support of the Police Officers Association, Gascn will this week offer part-time status to 600 retirement-eligible officers — all with 25 years or more of experience. These officers would work 960 hours a year, or less than 20 a week.
How much the department could save isn’t yet know, Gascn said Wednesday, and would depend on how many of his police officers take him up on the offer, which would be open to veteran patrolmen and inspectors in district stations as well as lieutenants, captains and other brass at the Hall of Justice.
Not only could the plan save money, it could also bring in a new wave of fresh faces and fresh legs at the department. The SFPD is not hosting new police academy classes thanks to the budget crunch, and there are some academy graduates who are still awaiting assignments.
This would be on top of an estimated $7 million in savings Gascn hopes to glean as other veteran members of his department retire. Gascn mentioned these and other budget-saving strategies at City Hall on Wednesday in front of the Board of Supervisors Budget and Finance Committee, whose chair, John Avalos, said that more cost-cutting measures will need to be found by the time the city’s books are balanced in June.
The Appeal contacted the SFPD to see if any officers are currently on part-time status, and to check in and make sure the most recent estimate of sworn officers we had (around 1900) is accurate. We’ll post back when we hear more.