Increased Police feet walking beats on the street

I used to walk to work every day from the Lower Haight to the Embarcadero. I’d head down Page street or Fell street and walk to Market, then take Market all the way down. I used to play this game with myself, where I would try and count the number of cops i saw on the way. Most days, it would be two. The same two guys walking around UN Plaza. It was surprising. I always expected to see more.

Ross Mirakarimi, apparently, agrees. Spurred on by the rise in crime across his district, he brought legislation to the Board of Supervisors requiring beat cops to walk the streets in eight districts. And then it got messy. Newsom and Police Chief Heather Fong objected to the idea. They claimed that more police walking beats would limit their ability to respond to emergencies, and that they already had a plan to put more feet on the street, they just needed more money.

The Supervisors met and voted in favor of Mirakarimi’s proposal, and despite tentatively agreeing to sign the bill, Newsom vetoed it. Today the Chron has an update on the ongoing saga. The supes met again and overrode his veto for the very first time ever, and now we will see more police walking our streets, and hopefully making everything a bit safer.

2 Comments so far

  1. Richard (unregistered) on November 15th, 2006 @ 2:46 pm

    Yeah, this was a huge disappointment, as I’m a supporter of Newsom and his veto of this was a slap in the face. A clear case of playing politics, despite overwhelming sentiment to get more officers on the street.

    It’s common sense and common knowledge that what is referred to as “Community Policing” works. It is more expensive for the community, and it exposes officers to a little more danger. Regardless, by increasing staffing slightly, which was part of the agreement, it will have an impact on crime citywide.

    And in response to the opposition, there is no question that the day to day of operations should be left to the captains, but the counterproposal from Fong was dis-ingenious as it had no backbone if the force is negligent in implementation. Get real, it was the equivalent of “trust me”, which we have, and so far the SFPD has failed us. So, I don’t think so…

  2. anna (unregistered) on November 16th, 2006 @ 1:55 pm

    A bright side to this is that the captain of the district I’m in (central) sent out an email with the list of our beat officers- so at least I know their name, if I can’t find them.

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