San Francisco mayor pledges extra police, security measures


buy modafinil egypt SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The mayor of San Francisco on Tuesday announced even more initiatives aimed at curbing overt drug use, brazen home burglaries and other criminal behaviors that she says make a mockery of the city’s famed tolerance and compassion to have.

Mayor London Breed told a news conference attended by the police chief and other public safety officials that she would introduce legislation that would give law enforcement real-time access to surveillance video in certain situations and make it harder for people to sell stolen goods.

She also announced emergency measures to improve security in the Tenderloin, one of the poorest and most drug-infested neighborhoods in San Francisco, where parents have asked for protection from drug dealers and violent behavior on the streets. There are several government buildings in the neighborhood, including City Hall.

“What I’m proposing today and what I’m going to propose 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 become aggressive and “less tolerant of all the cops that destroyed our town.”

The announcement follows a meeting the mayor had with tenderloin families last week and a report from The Associated Press detailing the frustrations of some residents who say the city is in decline. They said that despite San Francisco’s wealth, city officials are not doing enough to clear the streets of human feces and trash, provide housing for the homeless, and deter drug dealers.

They are also upset that San Francisco public schools have spent much of the last year distance learning while neighboring counties and private schools in the city have taught in-class.

Criminal justice advocates who are campaigning for fewer incarcerations say the media has fueled fear in a city where crime rates have been falling overall in recent years. They say increased enforcement only harms 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 killing of George Floyd sparked a wave of progressive activism that has included calls to rethink how cities deal with crime. Some cities that have been calling for police relief, including Portland, Oregon, have relocated in recent months to bolster police budgets.

John Hamasaki, a San Francisco police commissioner and defense attorney who is critical of additional policing and surveillance, said Tuesday taxpayers’ money is better spent on services, treatment and housing.

He said the city should open a regulated drug consumption facility and take action to treat the addiction, rather than using methods that push trafficking to other parts of the city.

“The situation in the tenderloin will not ultimately be resolved through more policing,” he said. “It seems like we’re doing the same dance over and over again and expecting different results.”

But Randy Shaw, chief executive of the Tenderloin Housing Clinic, which provides legal services and housing to people on low incomes, said more police patrols would deter traffickers and make the neighborhood safer for residents. At the same time, he has heard the mayor’s promises before and seen few concrete measures.

“I’m glad the mayor is coming out like this, but actions speak louder than words,” he said. “We have heard many promises and now we must ensure that they are kept.”

Breed has directed the city’s Department of Emergency Management to lead the response in the tenderloin, much like the agency has coordinated efforts to combat the pandemic. The department will, in part, streamline emergency medical calls, disrupt drug trafficking and use, and clean up “bad roads,” she said.

“And when I say angry, full of feces and urine, that the Department of Public Works cleans up every day, it comes back just a few hours later,” she said.

Breed said she will ask the board for more money to pay police overtime and increase the department’s budget. Legislative changes would also require board support, which is not guaranteed.

San Francisco Police Chief Bill Scott said the criminal justice system had changed so that drug possession no longer puts a person in jail and police are now trying to balance enforcement with offers of help to addicts and the homeless.

“But at the end of the day, at the end of all this, people are not going to be allowed to smoke meth, smoke fentanyl, inject heroin in their arms in public,” he said.

Copyright © Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, transcribed or redistributed.

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