edlee_swornin.jpgSan Francisco Mayor Ed Lee today joined police Chief Greg Suhr to mark the 100-day point of Suhr’s tenure as the city’s new top cop and to celebrate a decrease in San Francisco’s violent crime rate compared to previous years.

Lee and Suhr attended the Police Department’s bimonthly CompStat meeting at the San Francisco Hall of Justice this morning to review crime rates in various neighborhoods around the city.

San Francisco’s violent crime rate so far in 2011 is down 6 percent from the same period in 2010, and the three-year trend of the city’s homicide rates are the lowest in nearly 50 years, according to police.

Lee said Suhr’s leadership has been important in helping keeping crime down despite budget cuts to the department.

He cited Suhr’s recent persuading of 60 percent of his task force officers to begin working nights and weekends since that is when most crime happens.

The chief also helped convince the police officers union to contribute more to their health benefits under the mayor’s pension reform proposal that will be on the November ballot.
“I think this is the most selfless organization we have in the city,” Lee said.

Lee said he was also a fan of the department’s CompStat program, which tracks various types of crimes in the city.

Keeping track of the various crimes is important because “we know that the small stuff can lead to worse things,” he said.

Suhr said the stats show “we can’t arrest our way out of crime” and need an “atmosphere of cooperation” between different city departments and community groups to maintain low rates.

The city’s reduction in violent crime comes despite the Police Department having 4 percent less staff than it had at the beginning of the year.

Suhr said despite the staff reduction, there are actually more officers at the 10 district stations than there were at the start of the year.

This “more efficient use of resources” will hopefully help San Francisco continue to see reduced rates, he said.

Suhr will also attend this evening’s San Francisco Police Commission meeting to discuss his first 100 days as chief.

The meeting starts at 5:30 p.m. at Room 400 at City Hall.

Dan McMenamin, Bay City News

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