Officials address violence in SF's Bayview District

December 19, 2012 7:17:44 PM PST
When President Obama announced the formation of a task force on gun violence Wednesday, he cited not only the school tragedy in Connecticut, but communities where shootings occur on a daily basis. One local case in point: San Francisco's Bayview District, which was riddled by gunfire overnight.

Unfortunately violence in the Bayview is an ongoing challenge. But it seems to be on the rise. At least that's what several community leaders tell us. The mayor has a new strategy he hopes will bring peace to the streets, but not everyone is optimistic.

The bullet shattered the glass and pierced the wall of one man's apartment, while another lodged in his neighbor's window. According to police, several rounds were fired by someone early Wednesday morning.

The resident explained, "A lot of the homeowners here are very shaken and rattled by what's going on and what's been going on in the area."

He says there's been an uptick in gang violence and drug dealing on Third and Palou, perhaps the most dangerous block in the Bayview. On Wednesday afternoon, an officer searched for shell casings from the morning's gunfire and talked about efforts to reduce crime.

"Our presence out here is to deter any of the worst stuff and be able to respond to the lighter stuff," SFPD Ofc. Tracy Green said.

Mayor Ed Lee says he is implementing a new city-wide strategy he calls IPO, "The big 'I' is for interrupt the behavior. We're funding programs and having police do tactics that interrupt the things particularly with people we know would be perpetrators or victims."

But one man tells us he has heard plans before, especially last year when a 5-year-old girl was shot and wounded outside his building while walking home from school. He explains, "We have pleaded with city and law enforcement to help, and today it is still kinda the status quo out here."

But Bayview District Supervisor Malia Cohen argues that tangible steps are being taken, "Throwing police at this problem is now solely the answer, it is a multi-level, multi-prong approach, dealing with the social challenges, access to jobs, quality education."

The Bayview police are expected to meet with the man we interviewed and his neighbors Wednesday night.


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