Neighbor Sarah, who graciously covers the Bernalwood Crime Beat, attended the SFPD’s Ingleside Station Chief’s Meeting last week (so you didn’t have to). Here’s her summary of the latest Bernal Heights crime news. You are advised to read the whole thing, as there are some very important bits about police staffing that may warrant political action, and if you insist on using your cellphone while walking down the street, we suggest you make things even easier for local thugs by wearing a signboard that says, “Please Rob Me!” Read on for full details:
Edie Vargas Williams and I attended the captain’s monthly meeting on Tuesday, 3/20. Please be sure to read the section on staffing because the captain is asking us to contact Supervisor Campos if this issue is important to you. Edie took great notes that I am posting here.
Captain’s Report given by Captain Daniel Mahoney, 3/20/12, firstname.lastname@example.org
POLICE STAFFING DECREASES
Ingleside currently has 112 officers, down 10% from 2 years ago. In the next 3 months, two Ingleside officers with 64 years of experience between them will retire. Normally, retired officers are replaced by new recruits, but there has been no police academy class this year. In SF, 267 officers are committed to retire by June, 2014, with an additional 150 officers eligible for retirement, including Captain Mahoney.
The chief has an aggressive plan to recruit and train new officers (asking for 4-5 Academy classes next year), but there is no guarantee of funding by the Board of Supervisors. Even if he were able to start recruiting right now, it takes time to develop working officers: weeks of recruitment & testing, 27-weeks of academy classes, 17-weeks on-the-job training and probation.
What happens if we don’t get new officers? Many cities have had to change the way they operate due to loss of officers. For example, Oakland doesn’t respond to property crime or burglaries unless there’s someone in your house right this second. Sacramento had to drop its gang task force. San Francisco may have to eliminate foot patrols and other proactive crime-prevention programs just in order to have officers in cars to respond to the most serious crimes.
What can we do about this? WRITE THE BOARD OF SUPERVISORS and ask them to approve the police chief’s request for funding. Bernal’s supervisor is David Campos: David.Campos@sfgov.org, 415-554-5144.
Aggravated Assaults: 24 incidents / 16 arrests / down 29% from last month / up 26% ytd. Notes: All were domestic-violence-related, and behind closed doors.
Robberies: 18 incidents / 8 arrests / up 6% from last month / down 31% ytd. Notes: 90% of victims are lone person walking on the street and using a cell phone. Stop using your cell phones in the street!
Sexual Assaults: None
Burglaries: Trending up. 28 incidents / 5 arrests. Up 22% from last month, down 5% y-t-d. Notes: Two trends…
1. “Hot prowl” burglaries, where burglars break into homes with people in them. Last 3 incidents – burglars were African American males (different people each time), victims had decoration in front of house that indicated Asian occupants. Suspects knocked, victims didn’t respond. Suspects thought no one was home, kicked in the door, hurt the resident. Captain suggested that if someone tries to break into your house when you’re there, you should yell out, “Is that the police?”
2. Business/home with surveillance equipment: multiple burglars seemed to have been aware of surveillance camera: they cut the line, then steal the camera or any backup CDs/hard drives that contain the surveillance video. This happened at Pizza Express last month.
Auto Theft: 39 incidents / no arrests. Notes: Up 5% from last month, down 44% ytd, but remains a really bad situation. (see additional info/commentary below)
Theft from Auto: Notes: People drive to parks and get out to walk their dogs – burglars watch and break into their cars when they see the owners leave. Captain tries to direct resources towards hot spots. One hot spot has been Mansell and Shelley in McLaren Park. The captain ran an operation where officers watched this area and made an arrest.
Burglary in a residence on 200 block of Nevada Street. 3 people broke in, but because of an alert and quick-acting neighbor, they were caught. The neighbor called 911 and was able to give detailed descriptions of the people, the car, and license. Police broadcast the info every four hours and officers in the Bayview stopped the car. Burglars still had stolen stuff in their car. If they hadn’t had the detailed information from the neighbor, they would not have closed this case.
Bicycle thefts are high. Where’s the most common place for bikes to be stolen? In a gated entrance way or inside a closed garage: Recently thefts — 4 lower Mission, 6 Noe Valley, 6 Bosworth at Mission, and Ocean.
Stolen cars. If you own a Honda, don’t park in the Outer Mission, or near the border area with Daly City, especially Florentine, Ellington, Cayuga, Whipple Streets. 90% of stolen cars are 1990s Hondas. Thieves take them for transportation – using shaved keys. The good news is there’s a 98% recovery rate in San Francisco, since they drop off the cars when they get where they’re going. Recoveries are often made on Mission, Cortland, and Precita in Bernal Heights. Ingleside will be partnering up with the captain of Mission station to put plain-clothes and uniformed officers out for a full-day, targeted task force to try to get it under control. Police will put out decoy/bait cars and check up on car thieves out of jail or on probation.
Working together. Shooting last week on MUNI bus at Towerside in the Sunnydale. MUNI video showed a youth had just gotten off the back of the bus, while another stood on the bus steps and shot him in the back. Plain-clothes and uniformed officers plus gang task force IDed the shooter. Gang and Violence task forces had the shooter, an 18-year-old, under arrest within 4 days. Youth didn’t die despite having his femoral artery shot because we have great hospitals and get crime victims there quickly. MUNI has excellent video surveillance and can retrieve video quickly. The incident had to do with gang activity between the Towerside and Sunnydale gangs.
Traffic enforcement and education activity. Officers will be going out to enforce pedestrian safety at Noe and Church @ 30th in Noe Valley/Glen Park and in Balboa Park near the park and BART station. They’ll also work on speed enforcement on Alemany and San Jose.
The Captain tries to add an education component to enforcement campaigns. Ingleside has brochures explaining the reasons for the laws, and officers hand these out when they stop cars for running red lights, pedestrian awareness, cell phone use, bike safety, etc. They will be doing an education-only (no citations) campaign for bicyclists as well, followed by enforcement after that if needed.
PHOTO: Telstar Logistics