Kamala Harris, the newly-elected San Francisco District Attorney, recently spoke about her approach to keeping the community safe:

The dialogue about public safety in San Francisco and across the country is usually dominated by one simplistic question — are you “tough” on crime, or are you “soft” on crime? As we start a new era in the district attorney’s office today, it’s time to put an end to that false choice. Let’s start today by being smart on crime.

We also need to reject simplistic, reactive public policies. It takes more than building prisons and locking away prisoners to keep our city safe. As district attorney, I will not use 3-strikes enhancements unless the 3rd strike is a violent or serious felony; nor will I ever ask for the death penalty.

At the same time, let me be unmistakably clear that anyone who commits a rape, molests a child, commits murder or any other violent act will be met with the most severe consequences and be removed from this community so that they can do no more harm.

(San Francisco Chronicle, January 8, 2004) See New Voices.