SAN DIEGO – San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria held an event Thursday highlighting plans for his “Ready to Rebuild” budget fully investing in local law enforcement.  

The mayor held the event in Mission Beach, where there have been notable violent crimes in recent months. Gloria argued the best way to tackle local crime is to increase and invest in law enforcement agencies.

“During the last year here at Belmont Park, we have seen an increase in violence, including a pair of shootings in just the last month,” Gloria said.

Gloria was accompanied by several public safety leaders, community members and city leaders.

“From our police officers to our firefighters to our lifeguards, my proposed budget not only invests in the stations where they are based and the equipment they need, but also in the first responders themselves,” Gloria said.

The proposed budget would add $13.8 million more to the police department’s budget than last year’s, for a total of $584 million.

The funding will help the San Diego Police Department with recruiting, staffing shortages, hiring incentives and crime prevention, officials said.

“What we found is people want to get back to the park, people want to get back to their community, people want to be able to walk their dogs in the neighborhood,” said Pastor Steve Marron, with Bridge Church in Mountain View.

Marron said an increase in funding is needed in communities like Mount Hope and Mountain View.

“We have seen, unfortunately, as they comb these parks for these events, they have seen a lot of drug paraphernalia, they have seen a lot of ammunition — so this is just a sign that there is a urgent need for funding,” Marron said.  

The budget also includes funding for lifeguards and firefighters, securing money for staffing, new fire stations and lifeguard towers.

“The bottom line is this: You should feel safe in your community. You should feel safe in your city. We have incredible public safety professionals that do that job extremely well and now is the time to continue to give them the tools, the positions and the budge to get it done I believe that we can do that,” Gloria said.

The final budget is set to be approved by June.