SAN DIEGO — New numbers show overall crime is down in San Diego, but the mayor says certain privacy protections could make it harder for police officers to do their jobs.
It is part of what Mayor Todd Gloria spoke about during his monthly media briefing Thursday.
According to research compiled by SANDAG, six months into 2023, the crimes against persons rate of 9.71 was nearly 7% lower than it was at halfway through the year last year.
There were fewer rapes and homicides, and the property crime rate is lower than this time last year.
There were a few crimes that saw an increase, however. Those involve aggravated assaults, drug equipment violations and prostitution.
While the decrease in overall crime is positive news, the mayor, along with public safety leaders, said that the city’s privacy ordinance needs to be amended in order for fire and police departments to continue to perform their duties efficiently. They feel the ordinance, as it stands right now, is an “obstruction, not an oversight.”
”Were talking about some of the most basic technologies, common things that we all experience and support, things like police body-worn cameras, current employee key card access, technology, on the doors at our airports…even Google Maps,” Gloria said. “All are getting caught up and are subject to the provisions of the privacy ordinance as currently written.”
Police Chief David Nisleit said he was also gravely concerned.
“The San Diego Police Department has 17 technologies that are expired or expiring. These technologies are used to investigate child predators, murderers, rapists, sexual predators, and arsonist. These are the tools that we use to keep San Diego as one of the safest largest cities in America, and we are on the brink of turning them off because of this ordinance.”
On Friday, the city council’s public safety committee will discuss several items related to the privacy ordinance including finalizing the next step to activate the smart street lights and license plate reader programs.