SDPOA backs Faulconer; Sen. Fienstein endorses Alvarez - San Diego, California News Station - KFMB Channel 8 - cbs8.com

SDPOA backs Faulconer; Sen. Fienstein endorses Alvarez

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SAN DIEGO (CNS) - Councilman Kevin Faulconer's mayoral campaign Monday gained the support of the San Diego Police Officers Association, while his opponent, Councilman David Alvarez, was endorsed by Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif.

"Kevin Faulconer's experience and proven leadership make him the best candidate for mayor," said police union President Brian Marvel. "He has demonstrated a deep understanding of the dire need to rebuild the San Diego Police Department and retain experienced police officers to keep our neighborhoods safe."

Last summer, Faulconer spearheaded a City Council effort to increase allowances for officer uniforms and equipment, and hike funding for SDPD recruiting drives. Alvarez voted in favor of the plan.

Years of recession-era funding reductions for the police department have ended, but the SDPD has in recent months employed roughly 130 fewer officers than called for in the city's budget -- largely due to defections to nearby agencies that offer better take-home pay.

"There should be no higher goal for local government than keeping our neighborhoods safe, and if we continue with fiscal reforms at City Hall we can direct the savings toward ensuring every San Diegan lives in a safe and vibrant community," Faulconer said.

Feinstein said her support for Alvarez in the Feb. 11 runoff election is based on his opposition to assault weapons.

Alvarez said he was "so honored to stand with Senator Feinstein to get high powered assault weapons off of our streets. We've seen one too many breaking news stories ripping communities apart. Let's put an end to these senseless acts of violence with common sense solutions."

Alvarez has been endorsed by numerous Democratic state officials and the city of San Diego's lifeguards.

The candidates are scheduled to have their first debate on Wednesday.

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