Myrna Melgar’s Statement on Public Safety
I support a strong public safety system that protects all San Franciscans, regardless of race, gender, age, legal status, or sexual orientation. I support transforming our police department. I do not support abolishing it. It is heartening to see San Francisco’s neighborhoods and the City bringing forward well thought out public safety reform proposals. As Supervisor, my goal will always be to ensure that our public safety system works to keep everyone safe. What San Franciscans are asking for — and which I support — is a police department that relies on knowledge of the community, cultural competence, anti-racism and de-escalation strategies, and decreasingly on lethal force.
I support using these principles to guide our reforms:
- The primary goal of our public safety system is to keep everyone safe.
- To keep us safe, our City must provide law enforcement, peacekeeping and social services. These are different functions that require different staffing and specific training.
- Cross training our police officers, firefighters, first responders and social service providers will ensure the City provides the best suited response for each situation.
- Non-violent activities should not be handled by police officers, but instead by civilians without weapons who are trained in de-escalation.
- We must rely less on force and more on strategy, and on relationships with and knowledge of the community.
At this historic moment, San Franciscans from all walks of life are calling for a thoughtful, measured effort to ensure that all communities, especially low income communities, receive the crime protection they desperately need and have historically been denied. We have an obligation to take this opportunity and make real change. As Supervisor, I will respond with empathy and thoughtfulness to this clear call from our City, recognizing the seriousness and urgency of the moment.