San Francisco’s police chief is arguing for a proposed June ballot measure that would ask voters to approve $412 million for a new police headquarters and seismic upgrades to firefighting infrastructure.
The San Francisco Earthquake Safety and Emergency Response Bond measure had originally been targeted at $652 million, for a new Public Safety Building in Mission Bay to house police command headquarters, the Southern District Police Station and a fire station; seismic upgrades to neighborhood fire stations; and seismic retrofits for the city’s firefighting water supply system.
But some supervisors objected to about $240 million earmarked for a new forensic sciences center to house crime labs and the medical examiner’s office, saying the construction would not be open to a competitive bidding process.
Eight supervisors agreed to strip that portion from the measure on Tuesday.
“It’s absolutely critical that we move,” Police Chief George Gascon said Thursday.
The San Francisco Hall of Justice, which contains Southern Station, police headquarters, a San Francisco Superior Courthouse, several county jail facilities and the district attorney’s office, has for years been deemed seismically deficient.
“It’s a disaster waiting to happen,” police spokeswoman Lt. Lyn Tomioka said. In the event of a major earthquake or terrorist attack, police command could be cut off should the building be damaged, she said.
A hearing before the Board of Supervisors on the new version of the bond measure is scheduled on Feb. 23.