October 1st North Beach Public Safety Meeting
On October 1st, 2018 a North Beach Public Safety meeting was held. As demonstrated by the photo above, the turnout was strong with over 200 people in attendance. For those who could not attend, we have compiled an outline of the topics discussed that evening. These notes are incomplete and are meant to simply share the general conversation and should not be treated as direct quotes.
If you want to join our efforts to improve Neighborhood Safety, please consider joining North Beach Neighbors and expressing interest in our Neighborhood Safety committee.
Purpose of community meeting:
Review community concerns re: uptick in crime and aggravated street behavior. Provide an overview of what SFPD and City Departments are doing now. Answer questions about existing processes from constituents. Brainstorm additional resources, and share opportunities for partnership.
Over 215 attendees + staff, police officers, representatives, news crew
SFPD Chief Bill Scott
Captain Paul Yep
Commander David Lazar
Incidents listed (by Captain Yep)
April 2018: “Scissors Incident”; Marina is currently in custody
August 27th: Attempted child kidnapping on walk to school; Outstanding investigation -- vehicle description: White Volkswagon Jetta, partial license plate “7I”
Sept 4: Joe D. Playground scaring kids and parents; Suspect in custody
June 2018: Homicide at store along 900 block of Columbus Ave; Suspect in custody
March 11 2017: Homicide on 500 block of Green; Outstanding investigation
Three initiatives under his division: Cleanliness, Homelessness, Healthy Streets (collaborative effort)
Homeless statistics in U.S.
25% have serious mental health issues
25% have substance abuse problems
Both statistics are likely higher in S.F.
Community Health Representatives
Specific services offered/provided to people who are 5150’d, like intensive housing
Difficult when people refuse services
Behavioral Health Courts; Drug Courts
Over 22,500 injection drug users in S.F.
What can be done to provide clean syringes and reduce litter?
1:1 Safe Needle exchange balanced with reducing spread of disease (AIDS/Hep)
Most drug users inject 4-5 times per day (4-5 needles/day)
Two specific teams for engaging with those on the streets
Crisis Team: for those who are a threat to themselves or others (suicidal, etc)
HOT Team: “Homeless Outreach Team” deal with encampments, refer to Navigation Centers, etc
Previously Laura’s Law, now known as Assisted Health
Happy to answer questions about Navigation Center and speak with neighborhood groups
There are lots of projects that go unnoticed that have helped homelessness, e.g. the affordable housing project at Broadway & Battery
Let’s build a safety ring around our parks
His role in the community is as a “Lawmaker”
Follow-up email to come to everyone who signed up via email at door
As of 3 weeks ago, additional resources and strategy; sweeps/clean-ups done in conjunction with DPW; officers to write up anyone for criminal offenses / violations (i.e. anything that they can be written up for)
2 specific conclusions on why Richmond was safest district:
Neighborhood was very organized with its neighborhood watch programs (SF SAFE provides resources)
Video surveillance was high; hotspots had strong video presence
What can you do?
Use 311 app or number -- report incidents often and when they happen
Report crime (such as break-ins, etc). If police don’t know about it, they don’t know how high crime rates truly are
Syringe cleanup number: 415.810.1337
Install home video surveillance
Don’t leave valuables (or anything) in car
Get involved in police process and public policy-making (per SFPD Chief)
Have family safety/code words
Public Commentary and Questions
Vacant businesses are a blight on the community; they are detrimental to families and the well being of the neighborhood. Dark streets encourage vandals, crime, and sleeping in entryways
What is being done to address this?
What is the Fix-It team? Does it do anything?
The city’s budget has increased and the problems have gotten worse; city and officials should be ashamed. D3 has expanded but allocation of police staff has not
Can police patrol areas like Trader Joe’s, etc? It will require cooperation from businesses.
Letting issues fester and not report them results in the extremity / escalation we’re seeing now (example of man exposing himself outside Safeway and no one doing anything about it)
Will the Navigation Center only help the people who want to be helped? There are a lot of people in North Beach who don’t want support, want to abuse our streets, and do whatever they want