Liberal Tech CEO Says San Francisco Needs More Cops

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July 17, 2023

Marc Benioff, the San Francisco-based Salesforce CEO who has pushed for "sustainable capitalism" and higher taxes on his own industry, said yesterday the city needs to hire more police officers and expand law enforcement resources.

"First principles: Our city laws must be fully enforced," Benioff tweeted Monday. "Our [San Francisco Police Department] police must be fully funded. We must fully return trust & safety to retail business and residential properties now." Benioff recommended hiring 600 officers to return the force to its capacity a year and a half ago, expanding the police academy, and measuring officers by effectiveness.

The comments show even Benioff, who has been described by Politico as "tech's woke CEO," has joined calls for stronger law enforcement amid rising crime. Rampant crime and rising homelessness have driven people and businesses out of California cities in recent years, with some leaving the Golden State entirely. San Francisco experienced a homicide increase last year for the fourth year in a row and has already reported 15 percent more robberies compared with this time last year. Over half a million residents fled California in the two years after the pandemic’s start, according to the New York Post.

The city’s downtown has lost half of its businesses since the start of the pandemic. Old Navy announced in May it would close its flagship store in downtown San Francisco. Nordstrom announced in the same month it would be closing both of its downtown locations this summer, and Saks OFF 5th said its only location in San Francisco would close in the fall. Whole Foods closed its "flagship" location in San Francisco in April, citing the "safety" of its employees.

San Jose clothier owner Daud Shuja told the Associated Press new customers live far away from downtown and that he plans to open a new location closer to the suburbs in Palo Alto next year.

"They just don’t want to deal with the homelessness, with the environment, with the ambiance," Shuja said.

Benioff told the Associated Press the city's downtown is "never going back to the way it was" before the pandemic, predicting that workers will never again commute every day. He recommended San Francisco convert office space downtown into housing to "rebalance downtown."

Published under: Crime , San Francisco