A Safer San Francisco

The initiatives we are announcing today are bringing together multiple city departments in coordination to tackle the challenges we face.
  • Executing an Emergency Intervention Plan in the Tenderloin neighborhood,
  • Securing emergency police funding to ensure we have the resources to combat major safety problems over the next several months,
  • Amending our surveillance ordinance so law enforcement can prevent and interrupt crime in real time — something they’re effectively barred from doing now — to better protect our homes and businesses,
  • Disrupting the illegal street sales of stolen goods that have become a clear public safety issue and are contributing to retail theft.
San Francisco’s first Street Crisis Response Team launched in the Tenderloin. We now have 24/7 coverage of the entire city.

Tenderloin Emergency Plan

The Tenderloin is a neighborhood full of families, seniors and children, new immigrants and longtime residents. It’s a neighborhood with a rich history of arts and culture. And the undeniable truth is that it is also a neighborhood that has been home to some of our city’s most entrenched problems for generations.

  • Preventing violent crime;
  • Streamlining emergency medical calls;
  • Interrupting open air-drug dealing;
  • Interrupting open-air substance abuse;
  • Establishing safe passage and accessibility for citizens;
  • Expanding housing resources;
  • Interrupting illegal vending;
  • Improving neighborhood cleanliness;
Community Ambassadors from Urban Alchemy in the Tenderloin are out on nearly every street to increase public safety.

Securing Emergency Police Funding

These interventions in the Tenderloin are going to require a significant police response. And, frankly we need more action across the entire city to deal with the car break-ins, the burglaries, and, especially, the shootings. But our police have already been working overtime to address these and other serious challenges, including:

  • Responding to the rash of retail thefts, which have proliferated across California, with increased patrols and expanded investigations, through our Organized Retail Theft Initiative.
  • Confiscating more than 23 kilos of fentanyl, a catastrophic killer that is fueling this crisis, over the last year — four times more than the year before.
  • Expanding patrols through our Tourism Deployment Plan, which has increased safety in heavily trafficked areas as we welcome visitors back — something so essential to our economic recovery.
  • And focusing on auto burglaries, including making three significant major arrests over the last few weeks of the types of crews that we know are responsible not a few, not a dozen, but hundreds of burglaries every month.
Announcing new efforts to address car break-ins and disrupt the resale market of stolen goods

Expanding Access to Public Safety Tools

Simply having more officers, alone, is not enough to improve public safety in this city. Police need the tools to do their job effectively. This means we need to revisit our rules around using cameras to protect our neighborhoods and our small businesses.

Disrupting Illegal Vending

Illegal vending has become a clear public safety issue, for a variety of reasons. For the most part, the goods for sale are being acquired through criminal activity. In other words, the stuff is stolen, then sold on the street. In addition to the thefts themselves, there is an increasing use of weapons, get-away cars, physical violence, and invasion of homes and businesses that come with the robberies. Therefore, quashing the ability of these street vendors to profit by selling their illicit goods, openly in public spaces, must be a public safety priority.

  • Create an exclusion zone for all street vending activity in existing locations that are highly problematic, such as United Nations Plaza;
  • Give the Department of Public Works the flexibility to add locations where vending will be barred;
  • Regulate the number of street vendor permits issued;
  • Mandate highly visible posting of approved vendor permits to make it simple and easy for inspections at any time;
  • Request proof of purchase immediately from anyone attempting to sell goods;
  • Enforce the Americans with Disabilities Act to ensure accessibility in our public spaces;
  • Allow DPW to associate with law enforcement if there is a need to move individuals who are non-compliant and/or confiscate goods.

Next Steps

These are not the only actions we are going to be taking to address public safety. And to be clear, public safety also means confronting the underlying systemic problems that plague our society — such as the need for housing, health care and equity. We will keep working on those issues, too. But we need a safer San Francisco, and we need it now.

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