Filner seeks to give $22M to police, fire

SAN DIEGO – Mayor-elect Bob Filner reinstated San Diego Police Chief William Lansdowne and Fire Chief Javier Mainar Thursday while asking the city to direct $22 million toward public safety.

The money would come from a liability reserve account created with the $27 million settlement San Diego Gas & Electric paid out to the City of San Diego after it was found liable in the 2007 wildfires.

“I’m going to ask city council not to just give lip service, but to take immediate steps,” Filner said. “San Diego’s public safety is running at dangerously low levels. Police and fire cannot meet minimal demands in response times, and that means lives.”

Police, fire and rescue, lifeguards have been hit hard with budget cuts. According to Filner, Mayor Jerry Sanders is leaving the city with a balanced budget and bond rating. He wants to spend $8 million on a news state of the art communications system, police training and firing range, staff and equipment.

“They can’t communicate the kind of emergency needs that are needed,” he said. “We need a 911 system that can actually function as real system. It was installed almost 25 years ago.”

City councilwoman Marti Emerald, who has championed public safety investment, said everyone on the council cares about public safety.

“They represent neighborhood’s that need more resources,” she said. “This is our statement about public safety being a priority and it should be.”

8 comments

  • Jose

    Filner in bed with the unions and will just tax the residents of SD for all his pathetic ideas like solar to "create jobs"..way to go san diego you wanted this moron, you got him.

  • Katrina Wilson

    So, because Filner says he is finally going to fund and staff public safety, he is in bed with the unions? Police and fire havent had raises since 2008. They have taken substantial pay cuts since that time though. So where has the power of the unions been?

    Public safety should be one of the basic responsibilities of local government, and it has been sorely neglected. The equipment is old, and the staffing is low. If a major incident were to happen, this city would be in serious trouble.

    I completely support rebuilding our police and fire departments.

  • Sheila Washington

    This money isn't going to pay and benefits. The money is going to replace broken stuff that hasn't been repaired. Also, before someone complains about "taxpayer money" I ask you, is their any other kind?

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