Newsom to Police Commission: public safety cuts inevitable 

San Francisco police officers may have to give up pay raises or face layoffs if The City is unable to close a massive projected $522 million budget deficit, Mayor Gavin Newsom said in a rare appearance before the Police Commission on Wednesday.

“Layoffs have to be on the table; wage concessions have to be on the table; reform has to be on the table,” Newsom told the civilian oversight committee. San Francisco’s budget is about $6.6 billion. It must be closed by July 1.

City departments are coming up with unprecedented budgeting ideas. The Police Department’s share could be as much as $30 million, 90 percent of which is employee pay.

Without contract negotiations, police will be receiving an increase in pay and “more folks have to be laid off,” Newsom said.

The number of police officers on San Francisco streets is mandated by a voter initiative at 1,971, but The City only recently met that number, Newsom said.

Also on Wednesday, police Chief George Gascón told the Board of Supervisors Budget and Finance Committee that the Police Officers Association is in talks with the Department of Human Resources about “inviting members that would qualify for retirement at this point to perhaps retire and become a part-time member.”

Commissioner Petra DeJesus said she had heard the union was opposed to further wage concessions.

“Don’t believe what you’ve heard, but don’t believe otherwise either,” Newsom said.

Gary Delagnes, head of the police union, was not immediately available for comment Wednesday evening.

bbegin@sfexaminer.com

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