San Francisco police adding patrol officers to Mid-Market area

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Beleaguered merchants on Market Street will get some help soon after San Francisco Mayor London Breed announced police will add more foot patrols in the Mid-Market area.

Sameer Patil started his Market Street restaurant Dosa Alle one year ago.

He supports the mayor's decision to expand foot patrols in the Mid-Market area. "It's definitely a good decision for all the businesses, all the people here," said Patil.

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Mayor Breed will add 10 more officers, a second lieutenant and two sergeants to walk the beat in the area on Market between Fourth and Eighth streets, a dense hub of residents, workers and tourists which includes Civic Center and the UN Plaza.

But, drug users and pushers and those who are homeless and mentally unstable call the area home.

"They keep bothering the customers so our customers are calling us and telling they're not coming here because people are bad outside," Patil said.

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He says it got so bad he almost quit until things got better last September, when the city added more beat cops on Market Street.

Police Chief William Scott says the new initiative is to continue the progress they're making.

"We're going to stay there and do what we have to do until that area is sustained and we keep it clean and safe for everybody," Scott said.

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It's hard to find merchants in the area who do not want more cops. They say they're tired of it being an eyesore and dangerous.

Scott Lowe manages David Rios Chai Bar on Market near Sixth Street.

He says his customers and staff are constant targets of the street people. "They've been assaulted, they've been threatened. It's a daily occurrence we have some event," Lowe said.

The new staffing will be completed in two weeks.

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