Photo by Marcus Lenk via Unsplash
The #SFBudgetAppsCom meeting has started!
They’re starting with item 1, a review of the budget process in general.
The SFPD budget is item 2. Our CTA for that:
Sup. Fewer opens up public comment on item 1 (budget process update), and reminds folks that this is not comment on item 2 (the police budget). #SFBudgetAppsCom
If you do have a comment on this, call tel:14084189388,1461315200## and press *3 to raise your hand.
Only a few comments. One had a question about the loan for the school district that was mentioned; they got no answer, and another comment pointed out that it wasn’t clear that people couldn’t expect answers to questions.
Item 2 begins! This is the presentation on the SFPD budget, with public comment afterward. #SFBudgetAppsCom
Sup. Fewer talking about her own record of cutting police spending, the heightened urgency of it in this moment, and the need to look at how to actually create public safety. #SFBudgetAppsCom
Sup. Fewer says the SFPD budget will come before the #SFBudgetAppsCom two more times in August.
SFPD is made up of six bureaus:
– Airport Bureau
– Admin Bureau
– Field Operations
– Investigations Bureau
– Traffic Operations Bureau
– Fiscal Management Bureau
That last one is responsible for DoJ reforms. #SFBudgetAppsCom
Talking about the history of the Department of Police Accountability (DPA). #SFBudgetAppsCom
The City Charter requires 1,971 sworn full-duty officers. That number was originally based in a 1979 consent decree with DoJ requiring the City to fully fund the police to create promotion opportunities within the Department for women and racial minorities. #SFBudgetAppsCom
Talking about civilianization of police positions. Saves money, but can only be done when positions become vacant—the City can’t lay off sworn officers to civilianize their jobs. #SFBudgetAppsCom
SFPOA has been opposing civilianization, and SFPD does not plan to continue the civilianization process in 2021.
This is where the Budget and Legislative Analyst’s policy options come up: https://sfgov.legistar.com/View.ashx?M=F&ID=8649665&GUID=B8A300E1-1B2E-45B3-B9FE-63BD327F0ABD #SFBudgetAppsCom
We’re not going to try to transcribe everything the speaker is saying about these policy options. The BLA document lists them out. https://sfgov.legistar.com/View.ashx?M=F&ID=8649665&GUID=B8A300E1-1B2E-45B3-B9FE-63BD327F0ABD
(Would be nice if the slide deck was posted somewhere, though!) #SFBudgetAppsCom
CORRECTION: The bureau we transcribed as “Fiscal Management” is actually “Strategic Management” according to the BLA document. The fiscal unit is part of it, along with DoJ reforms, policy, IT, etc. #SFBudgetAppsCom
Talking about litigation settlements. 665 since FY 2013-2014 costing $33.4 million. Includes “civil rights” cases (quotation marks theirs), which includes employment discrimination and use-of-force complaints. #SFBudgetAppsCom
Chief Scott is up next. #SFBudgetAppsCom
First couple of slides of the Chief’s presentation. Talking about the strategy statement having emerged from reform efforts including the Collaborative Reform Initiatives. #SFBudgetAppsCom
“There’s been a lot said about the ‘guardian’ vs. ‘warrior’ mentality.” Says they’re pushing for a “guardian” mentality in SFPD. #SFBudgetAppsCom
Talking about the SFPD org chart as it’s evolved due to reforms. E.g., bringing back the Assistant Chief position (which the previous speaker noted was vacant for years). #SFBudgetAppsCom
“SFPD Reforms as a Framework for Budget Increase” #SFBudgetAppsCom
The table in pic #1 is the basis of the previous graph. Pic #2 is staffing over time. #SFBudgetAppsCom
“Historical Sworn Personnel Count (GFS Supporting Only)”. (Not sure what GFS is. If the Chief said, we missed it.) #SFBudgetAppsCom
“Collaborative Reform Initiative Timeline”. Notes that the CRIs got handed off from USDOJ to CalDOJ. #SFBudgetAppsCom
The Chief says “all this points to a Department that is institutionalizing constant improvement”. #SFBudgetAppsCom
He’s emphasizing a point he’s made before, that they need “structural and budgetary support” for SFPD’s reform efforts. #SFBudgetAppsCom
“Budget initiatives linked to reform and Strategy 1.0” #SFBudgetAppsCom
“Training has to be maintained. Reform is not a one-shot, check-the-box kind of thing.” #SFBudgetAppsCom
Talking now about how the pandemic has affected SFPD budget planning.
“SFPD Budget Prioritization Steps (current)”.
Chief says they worked with a private contractor, though he doesn’t name them. #SFBudgetAppsCom
Short list of “Current Issues” they’re “addressing”.
“Fiscal impact of” the pandemic on the police budget.
Breakdown of what the four steps the mayor announced a month or so ago, and how they align with the department’s existing CRIs. #SFBudgetAppsCom
Closing slide with a couple of quotes from the Chief.
Sup. Walton is now asking questions about what’s actually getting cut from SFPD’s General Fund allocation. #SFBudgetAppsCom
Sup. Walton asks what was spent on OT last year.
Chief Scott rattles off the numbers. Pretty sure they’re the numbers from this slide: https://twitter.com/IndivisibleSF/status/1280964349503275008 #SFBudgetAppsCom
Sup. Walton: “Do we know what % of lawsuits are paid out of the police budget?”
The Controller’s office will get back to the #SFBudgetAppsCom on that.
Nick Menard of the BLA office: “A training through the Academy and then the field training afterward costs $138,000.”
(Assuming that’s per officer?) #SFBudgetAppsCom
The Chief says the goal of the Department is to maintain current staffing levels. They’re “hiring through attrition”. #SFBudgetAppsCom
Sup. Walton asks about the “Captain’s Staff” from page 27 of the BLA report: https://sfgov.legistar.com/View.ashx?M=F&ID=8649665&GUID=B8A300E1-1B2E-45B3-B9FE-63BD327F0ABD
Chief Scott says it’s “a discretionary pool of officers that Captains can assign” for various purposes. #SFBudgetAppsCom
Sup. Walton is asking questions about the retiree officers listed on the same page. The total estimated cost is “Not provided”. #SFBudgetAppsCom
Sup. Walton asks about the 23 “reserve officers” on the next item down. The Chief says “no cost to the City” in wages, only training and a $50 stipend. They’re used for parades and such (pre-COVID). #SFBudgetAppsCom
Sup. Walton asked about the Honda dirt-bike officers. The Chief says those are the off-road bikes you sometimes see officers on, including for places where a police car can’t easily get to.
(We’ve seen them used to guard protest routes.) #SFBudgetAppsCom
Sup. Walton wants data on how effective they are.
Sup. Walton also asks about the 40 “public housing” officers. The Chief says those 40 are spread across the City. #SFBudgetAppsCom
Sup. Walton asks about School Resource Officers since SFUSD has opted to not renew their MOU with SFPD. The Chief is going to talk with the president of the school board and others. #SFBudgetAppsCom
Sup. Walton asks what the mounted unit does. The Chief says they’re officers on horseback. Says “the public seems to like to see the mounted unit around”. Typically works Union Square, GGP, other parks. #SFBudgetAppsCom
Sup. Walton asked about the killing of Jace Young (https://www.sfchronicle.com/crime/article/Justice-for-Jace-Family-SF-mayor-police-15392519.php). The Chief said this is why a police presence is needed, and that they’re canvassing for evidence and have gathered evidence. #SFBudgetAppsCom
Board President Yee asks about slide 17 from the BLA presentation, which covers 326 positions totaling $52.5 million.
“Mostly sworn” according to Nick Menard. #SFBudgetAppsCom
Pres. Yee and Chief Scott talking about how civilianization triggers the “Meet & Confer” process with SFPOA. The Chief says transitioning someone from sworn to civilian does change their working conditions. #SFBudgetAppsCom
Pres. Yee asks about working with people who have limited English proficiency.
The Chief says it’s under “community engagement”. #SFBudgetAppsCom
Pres. Yee asks what’s going into the SFPD’s COVID response that isn’t police work.
Patrick Leon: “The biggest chunk of that is personnel hours where they’re on paid leave or paid furloughs or any other work-type hours that are associated with COVID.” #SFBudgetAppsCom
Leon continues that the $4.7 million isn’t costs *in addition* to regular policing, but costs that are part of COVID impact. #SFBudgetAppsCom
Pres. Yee asks what COVID response the City is paying for. Leon says this includes cleaning cars and facilities, and “educating the public and visitors” about health orders and wearing masks and social distancing. #SFBudgetAppsCom
Sup. Preston explicitly calls to #DefundSFPD and reinvest the money in services.
Now talks about racial disparities. 5% of City residents are Black, but they’re subjected to 40% of police searches. #SFBudgetAppsCom
Sup. Preston brought up the millions of dollars the City is spending on settlements due to racism, sexism, and police brutality, followed by the more than $700 million the budget allocates to SFPD. #SFBudgetAppsCom
Sup. Preston brings up traffic and airport for $56 million, schools at $3 million, the Honda and mounted units totaling $5 million.
Suggests there are cheaper ways for “children to see a horse”. #SFBudgetAppsCom
Sup. Preston asks whether overtime can be frozen, reduced, or eliminated.
Chief Scott says he doesn’t understand the question. Are we to not pay them for overtime, or not authorize overtime?
Sup. Preston says the latter. #SFBudgetAppsCom
Chief says “it’s going to have an impact on their policing”. Says that if an officer takes a call at the end of their shift, and has to collect evidence and write a police report, which must be reviewed by a magistrate within 8 hours due to a court decision. #SFBudgetAppsCom
Chief says “we have to pay officers when they work beyond their shift”, in either time or cash, but even time has to either be used or paid out. #SFBudgetAppsCom
Sup. Preston clarifies his question: How much of OT is necessary tasks such as court appearances, vs. discretionary?
Chief says some. Up to police supervisors. #SFBudgetAppsCom
Sup. Preston asks whether OT is on track to remain the same this year.
Chief says they’re working on reducing it. #SFBudgetAppsCom
Sup. Preston: “How much do we spend on police presence in HSOC?”
Sup. Fewer refines the question for the BLA.
BLA gives a long answer that boils down to $4.something million. #SFBudgetAppsCom
Sup. Preston asks what the traffic collision division does.
Chief says they investigate traffic collisions. Part of Traffic Company.
Sup. Fewer adds that they’re only dispatched for an injury or fatality. #SFBudgetAppsCom
Sup. Preston asks what the difference is between the traffic collisions unit and Traffic Company.
Chief: “One is for motorcycle or solo officers; the other is investigative.” They do follow-up work. #SFBudgetAppsCom
Sup. Preston asks whether there’s been discussion of moving those functions outside of SFPD.
Chief: “Not for those that require investigations” as Sup. Fewer said. But for other collisions, they could be done by EPP [sp?]. Has been “recommended by some”. #SFBudgetAppsCom
Sup. Preston asks about settlement payments.
Exec. Dir. Maguire says those come from SFPD budget plus City Attorney budget. Dollars from General Fund.
Preston asks how much from SFPD.
Maguire says it’s under “professional services” and around $2.5m. #SFBudgetAppsCom
CORRECTION: McGuire, not Maguire. https://www.sanfranciscopolice.org/your-sfpd/leadership/catherine-mcguire #SFBudgetAppsCom
Sup. Ronen is up next and has a question for the City Attorney’s office, who is getting paged.
Sup. Fewer asks the Clerk: “Has no one from the City Attorney been listening to this conversation?” #SFBudgetAppsCom
Sup. Ronen asks about 25 positions authorized for civilianization, blocked by POA. (Page 2 of the BLA report.)
“The POA can block that from going into effect for years?” #SFBudgetAppsCom
Answer: “As a general matter under state law”, when something affects working conditions, “there’s a duty to engage in Meet & Confer”. Respondent doesn’t know about this specific situation. #SFBudgetAppsCom
Sup. Ronen is frustrated that the work of elected officials can be blocked by the POA.
Chief Scott says this is normally run by Department of Human Resources.
Sup. Ronen: “What is requiring it to take this long?” #SFBudgetAppsCom
Chief Scott is talking about how the process works and the role of City Negotiator LaWanna Preston.
Sups. Ronen and Fewer are talking about continuing the discussion with DHR.
Chief Scott suggests the Negotiator may be overloaded. #SFBudgetAppsCom
Sup. Ronen says this is a systemic issue and DHR is “asleep at the wheel”. #SFBudgetAppsCom
Sup. Ronen follows up on Sup. Preston’s Q about reducing OT.
“It seems like there’s sort of a unanimous decision from all actors in the City” that police should not be responding to calls for homeless services and mental illness needs, that even police agree. #SFBudgetAppsCom
Sup. Ronen asking about SFPD’s presence in the Homeless Outreach Team. Asks whether this would cut into OT usage.
Chief: “It would not eliminate overtime. Probably a percentage”, and “we’d have to do an in-depth analysis to see how much”. #SFBudgetAppsCom
Sup. Ronen asks Nick Menard about OT breakdown.
Menard: “Court time, public events, arrests & investigations”. Believes they have a breakdown from an audit two years ago. #SFBudgetAppsCom
Menard: “Arrest and investigation OT was about 25% of the OT that had been paid out over the years… ripest for greater control.” Particularly cutting back on end-of-shift work by handing off to another officer on their shift. #SFBudgetAppsCom
Chief Scott says a private contractor said SFPD’s command staff is on par with the size of the Department, or even a little light. #SFBudgetAppsCom
Chief Scott adds that some of the CRI complaints are lack of supervisorial oversight due to not having enough command staff. #SFBudgetAppsCom
Chief Scott says that “when we say the Department is top-heavy”, we have to look at the Department’s layout compared to like-sized departments like San Diego, and to the need for command officers for reform.
Matrix was the consulting firm. #SFBudgetAppsCom
Chief talking about how HSOC, as a holistic program that includes policing, expanded the role of policing in more communities when HSOC was rolled out Citywide. #SFBudgetAppsCom
Sup. Ronen asks whether the $9.1 million spent on SROs will go away since the SFUSD has decided not to renew their MOU.
The Chief says they’ll reassign those officers (and that money) to other duties. #SFBudgetAppsCom
Sup. Ronen asks about policy recommendations made by DPA to the #SFPoliceCommission.
Chief says this happens all the time and there’s a process for it. Talks about “the Parks Report”, named for a former Police Commissioner. #SFBudgetAppsCom
Menard adds that when the Office of Citizen Complaints was transformed into DPA, they gained this policy function.
Sup. Mandelman is up next. #SFBudgetAppsCom
Sup. Mandelman expresses support for what the Chief said about how “reform is not cheap” and continuing to spend that money.
Is, however, open to reallocating functions away from SFPD. #SFBudgetAppsCom
Sup. Mandelman asks about what SFPD did during previous recessions such as 2007–2008.
Chief: “We didn’t do it for this, but” that is a good idea.
Sup. Mandelman also points out that the dollar amounts shown over time aren’t inflation-adjusted. #SFBudgetAppsCom
Sup. Mandelman says he’s “enormously frustrated with the response to homelessness”. Says “some of my constituents feel like it’s lead with services and then leave”. Talking about “illegal activity” such as “noise, drug sales”. #SFBudgetAppsCom
Says on the one hand that sometimes “there’s a need for an enforcement response” but on the other hand that “in a whole lot of cases, the first response doesn’t need to be an officer”.
Contrasts taking someone to a hospital and busting a drug ring. #SFBudgetAppsCom
Sup. Fewer next, though her audio keeps glitching out.
Says the Ambassador program was specifically for Union Square. Employed retired officers.
Asks about what happened to that money since those officers are no longer deployed. #SFBudgetAppsCom
Sup. Fewer is asking all of her questions at once, not waiting for answers.
Her next question is about OT. “Supervisors asked for more foot patrols.” Says they’d have to be sworn officers. #SFBudgetAppsCom
Sup. Fewer talks about needs for OT. Deploying police presence to protests; officers responding to subpoenas. Says we can’t cut all overtime.
Now a question about the Matrix report, which she notes pre-dates the pandemic. #SFBudgetAppsCom
Sup. Fewer notes that public health should have more of a role in HSOC. Says residents shouldn’t call police on homeless San Franciscans, and there should be a less police-centered response to homelessness. #SFBudgetAppsCom
Sup. Fewer asks whether reallocating officers from the Airport can be done by the #SFPoliceCommission.
Chief Scott says the Commission has the authority to restructure the Police Department, but recommends that “the complexities… be fleshed out” first. #SFBudgetAppsCom
Sup. Fewer asks about the 226 officers stationed at the Airport and the 140-some arrests YTD. #SFBudgetAppsCom
Sup. Fewer asks how many officers are detailed to, say, Tenderloin Station. Chief Scott says “about 150”.
Asks how many arrests that station makes. Another respondent doesn’t have number. #SFBudgetAppsCom
Sup. Fewer looking at arrest grounds. Vehicle infractions; marijuana transport out-of-state.
Says the City population has grown, but we’re allocating 226 officers to the Airport. #SFBudgetAppsCom
Respondent notes interactions between San Mateo Sheriff’s, TSA, BART PD, El Al, etc.
Says police presence is a “deterrent” to “a terrorist attack”. #SFBudgetAppsCom
Sup. Fewer notes that Oakland’s airport is policed by their Sheriff’s department.
Notes that SFO is policed in part by San Mateo Sheriff’s, and deputies are peace officers and (some?) deputies go through SFPD academy. Could save $5 million. #SFBudgetAppsCom
Airport director seems to suggest this would save the airlines money, not the City. #SFBudgetAppsCom
Sup. Fewer: “When you talk about someone from other parts of the world coming here, they don’t recognize the difference between someone in blue and someone in green. They’re all wearing badges and they’re all wearing firearms.” #SFBudgetAppsCom
Sup. Fewer says that “we can’t meet our Vision Zero goals” without traffic enforcement, and that’s the role of Traffic Company. #SFBudgetAppsCom
Here’s that Matrix staffing report, by the way. It was presented to the #SFPoliceCommission at the June 10 meeting. https://sfgov.org/policecommission/sites/default/files/Documents/PoliceCommission/PoliceCommission061020-MatrixStaffingAnalysisReport.pdf #SFBudgetAppsCom
Sup. Fewer asks how big SFPD’s role in HSOC should be.
Chief says “I would love to see a reduction” in responding to non-criminal/homelessness calls. “I think there’s going to need to be capacity-building … and reallocation of resources for that to happen”. #SFBudgetAppsCom
130 callers in the queue for public comment.
Sup. Fewer says “we will take one minute of public comment”. Hopefully she means per person… #SFBudgetAppsCom
They’re opening up public comment. tel:14084189388,1461315200## and press *3 to raise your hand. Now up to 144 callers in the queue. #SFBudgetAppsCom
Caller complains about the 408 number which costs some callers number (versus a local number). #SFBudgetAppsCom
Caller says we need “social services that help this City instead of cops that kill people”. #SFBudgetAppsCom
Caller who lives four blocks from the park where Alex Nieto was killed by SFPD appreciates the shift the Chief mentioned “from a warrior to a guardian mindset”, but “the problem is structural”. Need to move money from policing to investment in the community. #SFBudgetAppsCom
Caller who worked on the Prop H campaign says “we beat the POA at the ballot box” and “even the police agree” that police should not be the first point of contact. #SFBudgetAppsCom
Caller says the presentations “only proved that what we’re doing right now is not working and giving more money to the police department will not work”. #SFBudgetAppsCom
Caller: “Law enforcement is not public safety.” Notes that law enforcement won’t help when he gets fired or evicted [which are things that put a person in an unsafe position]. #SFBudgetAppsCom
Caller objects to SFPD’s budget growing by $43 million while “schools face $26 million in cuts”.
Caller notes a settlement that came from the General Fund but not the police budget. “That’s not reparations.” It should come from their salary, their overtime, their benefits. #SFBudgetAppsCom
CORRECTION regarding a previous comment: https://twitter.com/Jkruton/status/1281008233327419392 #SFBudgetAppsCom
Caller from @SFYouthCom cites a resolution from that commission, and objects to the #SFBudgetAppsCom‘s search for superfluous spending that can be cut without radically questioning the need for policing overall. #SFBudgetAppsCom
Caller says SFPD is “clearly anti-Black and that is not something you can reform or train away.” #SFBudgetAppsCom
Caller: “We should invest in services that prevent” situations for which police are currently dispatched, and the money should come from the police budget. #SFBudgetAppsCom
Caller says SFUSD faces $27 million in cuts, primarily from special ed. Says the district serves thousands of homeless students. “Defund the SFPD as much as humanly possible.” #SFBudgetAppsCom
Queue check: There are 184 callers in the queue. (Each caller gets one minute, so that’s three hours of comment ahead of us.)
Press *3 to raise your hand if you haven’t already. #SFBudgetAppsCom
Caller talks about history of Harvey Milk talking about politicians “chasing the gay vote” and then getting murdered by an SFPD officer, Dolores Huerta getting her ribs broken by cops, Mario Woods getting killed by SFPD, and every time, calls for reform. #SFBudgetAppsCom
Caller says the police are trying to protect their jobs and their role, whereas “we’re trying to protect our lives”. “Police are seeing criminals where they’re told to.” #SFBudgetAppsCom
Caller from Senior and Disability Action is angry about cuts to programs and increases to police. “Do you really think a Community Engagement Commander will make San Francisco safer?” #SFBudgetAppsCom
Caller: “When police talk about ‘public safety’, they’re speaking in code. They’re not talking about Mario Woods, Alex Nieto”, or other people killed by cops. “They’re talking about the slave holder and the union buster.” #SFBudgetAppsCom
Caller, a Black trans man, says SFPD dragged its feet on acknowledging the Compton’s Cafeteria riot, then reads off the names and badge numbers of the officers who killed Mario Woods and “were found to be acting within department policy.” #SFBudgetAppsCom
Caller: “When we put money toward teachers, people don’t continue to be uneducated. When we put money toward doctors, people don’t continue to be sick.”
Also talks about the racist texts scandal. https://www.sfgate.com/crime/article/Officers-linked-to-racist-texts-were-all-veterans-6134489.php #SFBudgetAppsCom
Caller talks about the values reflected in a budget that spends so much money on policing while cutting schools and services. #SFBudgetAppsCom
Same caller also brings up the unit specifically dedicated to policing public-housing communities before running out of time. #SFBudgetAppsCom
Caller suggests cutting 50% of SFPD. Says, if we move that kind of money (which, we’ll add, would be over $350 million) to housing, education, and other services, “the crime rate will go down”.
Caller brings up the use-of-force policy that the POA is going to sue the City over, among other things. “How is that an acceptable use of taxpayer money?” #SFBudgetAppsCom
Caller brings up the arrest and illegally search of Bryan Carmody by officers ordered by a superior to turn off their body cameras as an example of police impunity.
Multiple callers have complained about the Supervisors and other panelists having their cameras off. #SFBudgetAppsCom
Multiple callers have also pointed out that the officers who killed Mario Woods had all received the Crisis Intervention Training that was supposed to prevent police killing innocent civilians. #SFBudgetAppsCom
Caller, on reform: “Trust me, I’m a scientist; I know a failed experiment when I see one.” #SFBudgetAppsCom
183 callers in the queue currently. Press *3 to join the queue if you aren’t already (or got dropped and had to call back in).
At 1 minute per comment, that’s over 3 hours of comment yet to come. #SFBudgetAppsCom
Caller talks about an unhoused person who didn’t trust officers who offered “underfunded and overwhelmed” services. Only after that person attacked another were they put in something resembling housing and mental healthcare (to prove competency to stand trial). #SFBudgetAppsCom
Caller who is homeless says to defund and demilitarize SFPD. “I am absolutely un-understanding of how many resources are being used for housing” during the pandemic that should *always* be used for housing. #SFBudgetAppsCom
Multiple callers have pointed out the low percentage of the CRIs that have been completed by SFPD in the four years of that program. “Those reforms have failed” given how biased policing and uses of force have persisted. #SFBudgetAppsCom
Caller: “As a Black resident of San Francisco, I would feel much safer without SFPD than in the reality we live in today.” #SFBudgetAppsCom
Caller calls back to Chief Scott referring earlier to the murder of George Floyd by officers as “the George Floyd incident”. #SFBudgetAppsCom
Caller ends his comment with a moment of silence for people slain by cops. #SFBudgetAppsCom
Caller asks the moderator directly whether the Supervisors and the Chief are still on the call after five hours.
Sup. Ronen and President Yee pipe up to say that they’re all present and still listening. #SFBudgetAppsCom
Caller who works for DPH objects to departments taking 10–15% in cuts except for SFPD. Says “safety comes from having our basic needs net”.
Says other departments should come first and the police can have whatever is left over. #SFBudgetAppsCom
Caller says “not a single caller has called for reform”. Urges the Board not to fall for “the Camden model”, which was an abolition that turned into a reform. #SFBudgetAppsCom
Reprinted with permission from Indivisible SF.
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