San Francisco mayor promises more police and safety measures
The mayor of San Francisco on Tuesday announced yet more initiatives to tackle open drug use, brazen break-ins and other criminal behavior that she says has derided the city’s famous tolerance and compassion. .
The Mayor of London Breed told a press conference attended by the Chief of Police and other public safety staff that she would introduce legislation allowing law enforcement access in real-time surveillance video in certain situations and make the sale of stolen goods more difficult.
She also announced an emergency response to improve safety in Tenderloin, one of San Francisco’s poorest and most drug-infested neighborhoods, where parents have advocated for drug traffickers’ protection and behavior. violent in the street. The district contains several government buildings, including the town hall.
“What I am proposing today and what I will come up with in the future will make a lot of people uncomfortable, and I don’t care,” said Breed, a Democrat. “We’ve passed the point where what we’re seeing is even remotely acceptable.”
She said it was time to get aggressive and “less tolerant of all the bulls that have destroyed our town”.
The announcement follows a meeting the mayor had last week with Tenderloin families, as well as an Associated Press report describing the frustrations of some residents who say the city is in decline. They said that despite San Francisco’s wealth, city officials were not doing enough to keep the streets clear of human excreta and trash, provide housing for homeless people, and deter drug traffickers.
They are also upset that public schools in San Francisco spent much of the past year teaching at a distance while neighboring districts and private schools in the city provided classroom instruction.
Criminal justice advocates for less incarceration say the media has stoked fear in a city where overall crime rates have declined in recent years. Increased enforcement, they say, ends up hurting only the most vulnerable, including black and homeless residents, without improving public safety.
Similar debates are taking place across the country in liberal cities where the murder of George Floyd led to a wave of progressive activism that included calls to rethink the way cities deal with crime. Some cities where there have been calls for police funding, including Portland, Ore., Have moved in recent months to boost police budgets.
San Francisco police commissioner and defense attorney John Hamasaki, very critical of policing and surveillance, said on Tuesday that taxpayer dollars were better spent on services, treatment and housing.
He said the city should open a supervised drug use site and act to treat drug addiction rather than using methods that will push the business to other neighborhoods.
“The situation in the net will ultimately not be resolved by more policing,” he said. “It looks like we’re doing the same dance over and over again and expecting different results.”
But Randy Shaw, executive director of the Tenderloin Housing Clinic, which provides legal services and housing for low-income people, said more police patrols would deter dealers and make the area safer for residents. At the same time, he has already heard the mayor’s promises and seen few concrete actions.
“I’m glad the mayor is coming like this, but it’s really actions that speak more than words,” he said. “We’ve heard a lot of commitments, and now we need to make sure they come to fruition.”
Breed asked the city’s emergency management department to lead the response in the net, just as the agency coordinated efforts to fight the pandemic. The department will partly streamline emergency medical calls, disrupt drug trafficking and use, and clean up “dirty streets,” she said.
“And when I say nasty, full of excrement and urine, which the Public Works Department cleans up every day, but it comes back a few hours later,” she said.
Breed said she would ask the supervisory board for more money to pay for police overtime and increase the department’s budget. Legislative changes would also require council support, which is not guaranteed.
San Francisco Police Chief Bill Scott said the criminal justice system has changed so drug possession does not land a person in jail and police are now trying to balance law enforcement with offers to help people suffering from drug addiction and homelessness.
“But at the end of the day, at the end of it all, people won’t be allowed to smoke methamphetamine, smoke fentanyl, shoot heroin on their arms in public spaces,” did he declare.