HomeFeaturedSan Francisco Residents Will Vote to Allow Police to Pursue Suspects

San Francisco Residents Will Vote to Allow Police to Pursue Suspects

Proposition E seeks to overturn a 2013 policy that will not allow police to pursue suspects.

San Francisco could see more police car chases under Proposition E.

Lauren Toms reports on Proposition E, which would change when San Francisco officers can engage in car chases.

San Francisco Residents Will Vote to Allow Police to Pursue Suspects. Credit SFPD

A significant shift in the San Francisco Police Department’s pursuit policy may be on the horizon if a ballot measure is approved on March 5.

Proposition E seeks to overturn a 2013 policy that currently restricts police pursuits to situations involving violent offenses, where there’s a reasonable belief that the suspect poses an immediate risk to the public.

If passed, the proposition would expand the scope of permissible pursuits to include cases of retail and vehicle theft, as well as auto burglaries, provided they can be conducted safely. However, this aspect is the crux of one local voter’s opposition to the proposal.

Ciara Keegan, still reeling from a harrowing experience on Dec. 7, 2023, remains wary of the potential implications of Proposition E. While speaking with CBS News Bay Area, she recounted the traumatic event when her car was struck by a vehicle being chased by SFPD across the Bay Bridge. Nearly three months later, Keegan still struggles to get behind the wheel, her trust in road safety shattered.

As Keegan recuperated, she became acquainted with Proposition E’s broader implications. Apart from expanding pursuit authorization, it opens avenues for the use of sophisticated police technologies like cameras, drones equipped with facial recognition, reduces written reporting obligations, and curtails the authority of the police commission.

While proponents argue that Proposition E would bolster public safety by equipping police with additional tools, Keegan fears it could lead to more incidents like hers, citing the reckless nature of the police chase that endangered her and others.

Proposition E has garnered support from Mayor London Breed, mayoral candidate Daniel Lurie, and the police union, amassing over a million dollars in fundraising. Tracy McCray, president of the police officer’s association, contends that the measure would provide SFPD with vital non-lethal resources to enhance public safety amid chronic staffing shortages and soaring overtime costs.

However, Keegan advocates for investing in community resources to address underlying issues and prevent crimes. Reflecting on the youthfulness of one of the offenders involved in her accident, she emphasizes the importance of nurturing communities to deter harmful behavior.

As the debate surrounding Proposition E intensifies, residents like Keegan grapple with balancing law enforcement strategies with community well-being, seeking solutions that prioritize safety and accountability.


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