Growing calls from SF to NY to make reforms and 'defund police'

Some Bay Area leaders are part of a growing call across the nation, to divert money from police department budgets - and instead spend it on social programs.

Signs at demonstrations across the country this week, including the Bay Area, Los Angeles, New York, Philadelphia and Phoenix have called for leaders to "Defund the Police."

The idea means cutting police budgets and spending that money instead on things like education, health care and community programs.

San Francisco Mayor London Breed said in a statement released on Thursday that she supports the idea and that she and  Supervisor Shamann Walton released a proposal to re-direct funding from the city's police department to spend on social programs in the African-American community.

The San Francisco Police Department budget is more than $693 million. The statement did not offer specific information on how much of the police department's budget could be cut and diverted.

KTVU contacted the mayor's office, requesting more specific details, and has not yet received a response.

Breed will submit her two-year budget proposal to the board of supervisors on Aug. 1.

Earlier this week, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti proposed cutting the LAPD's budget by $100 to $150 million.

Progressive activists in the city have said that amount is too small, noting that the LAPD's budget is more than $1.8 billion.

When pension and healthcare costs are added in, the budget is more than $3 billion, and makes up 17 percent of the city's total budget.

At the national level, congressional leaders are responding to calls for police reforms in general.

East Bay Congressman Eric Swalwell said next week, the House Judiciary Committee, of which he is a member, will meet to get input to "take testimony and consider an updated civil rights act of our time."

Swalwell advocated for new, nationwide police reforms.

"We need continued de-escalation training and implicit bias training," Swalwell said. "Also, every officer in america should have to wear a body camera for not only for their safety but for the community's accountability."

Swalwell also mentioned the need for independent groups to investigate officer-involved shootings, instead of local district attorneys' offices.