San Francisco’s police and fire departments are preparing for hundreds of retirees.
To address the imminent staffing shortages, Mayor Ed Lee is funding the beginning of a six-year hiring plan for both departments in his proposed city budget. The mayor’s budget includes three 50-member police academy classes next fiscal year and a 42-member firefighter academy class.
“Over the past five years we’ve had close to 300 retirements,” said fire Chief Joanne Hayes-White. “In the next five years we are anticipating approximately 200 retirements. Our heavy reliance on overtime worked to a certain point, but now we are at the point where we do need to infuse more staffing into our department.”
Police Chief Greg Suhr said his department is down 220 officers.
The public safety departments’ budgets were reviewed Wednesday by the Board of Supervisors Budget and Finance Committee, which held its second day of hearings on Lee’s proposed two-year city budget.
The Fire Department’s proposed $327 million budget for next fiscal year is a $26 million increase compared to the current fiscal year.
The boost is attributed to increases in firefighters pay and the re-staffing of Engine 35 located at Pier 22 and a half on the Embarcadero, which is being opened up in time for the America’s Cup.
The Police Department’s budget is proposed to increase by about $30 million to a total of $492 million.