SF crime rates getting out of control

September 23, 2008 7:25:40 PM PDT
An outside review of the San Francisco Police Department is recommending wide ranging reforms to deal with the city's rising crime rate."A lot of people who have kid's do not go out in the street," says one Bayview resident.

Bayview residents are scared of what's going on in their neighborhood. This weekend, another shooting occurred where they live, on the 1700 Block of Newcomb, and many residents asked to speak out anonymously.

"We do feel threatened. We feel threatened for ourselves and for our guests and our children and grand children," says one Bayview resident.

The residents say they've had enough. They've gone to police and City Hall and police but they say nothing's changed.

As evidence, they point to these bullet holes in this garage from a shooting just six months ago.

The Bayview has been the target of a crackdown, which police say has reduced crime.

"We've got a lot of cops on the street. We've been running a lot of different programs. Already this year, we've taken 100 more guns off the street than we did this time last year," says John Loftus SFPD, Bayview station.

But the number of homicides keeps rising. In the Bayview last year, there were 25 murders. To date this year, there are already 21.

"There has to be a way for the city as a whole to take control of what's going on in our neighborhood," says another resident.

Some answers may lie in a draft report by law enforcement experts hired last year by the city to examine the police department.

Recommendations include putting more cops on the street by hiring more civilians to do desk work, reorganizing district stations, establishing community policing units in neighborhoods and beefing up the investigations bureau which handles homicides.

The draft report concludes, the department needs a "substantial organization change."

"There needs to be an overhaul of the police department," says Supervisor Ross Murkarimi.

Supervisor Ross Murkarimi co-sponsored legislation that authorized the review of the department.

"We are top heavy in the police department. I want to see more beat officers and officers that deployed to be engaged in the communities."

The final document is expected in early December. Police Chief Heather Fong tells ABC7 that she welcomes the report and will take the recommendations seriously.

For more on this, check out Vic's Back Story.


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