San Francisco awarded more than $17M to help fight organized retail crime

ByLena Howland KGO logo
Friday, September 15, 2023
SF awarded more than $17M to help fight organized retail crime
Newsom's office gave details about the largest single investment to fight retail crime in California history, sending $17 million to San Francisco.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Governor Gavin Newsom's office is giving more details about the largest single investment to fight retail crime in Golden State history.

This comes after the California Board of State and Community Corrections officially approved the plan yesterday to send $267 million worth of grant money to 55 cities and counties across the state.

On Friday, San Francisco Police Chief Bill Scott and San Francisco District Attorney Brooke Jenkins spoke about this plan in a press conference, joined by law enforcement agencies across the state.

They both talked about how this funding is meant to provide relief to businesses like these in Union Square that have been hit hard by retail theft.

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The San Francisco Police Department will be getting a little more than $15 million.

Chief Scott said that money won't be used to hire more officers, but it will allow them to bring existing officers in on overtime to supplement the existing workforce and boost crime prevention efforts.

He added that people can expect to see more officers out on foot patrol, more plain clothes officers and improved technology dedicated to fight retail theft, such as new license plate readers, from this grant.

Another $2 million is going to the city's DA's office.

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"Viral videos of thieves ravaging stores in San Francisco have taken over the narrative of our beautiful city," Jenkins said.

Jenkins said that money will allow her office to hire on a prosecutor and an investigator fully dedicated to the issue of organized retail theft.

"We plan to use this funding to work with our city and our highway patrol as well as our federal partners to build cases to hold those accountable who have been terrifying our merchants and shoppers, the work force who work in these retail establishments and it's really time to try to put an end to this as best we can," Scott said. "This funding will go a long way to doing that."

On Thursday, San Francisco Mayor London Breed said the city's focus is not just on the higher-end shops around Union Square but also on pharmacies and grocery stores.

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Three other Bay Area district attorney's offices are also getting $2 million each.

Those offices are in Alameda, Santa Clara and Sonoma counties.

And three other local law enforcement agencies are getting money, too.

This includes $15 million to the San Mateo County Sheriff's Office, $11 million to the Santa Clara County Sheriff's Office and $8 million to the San Jose Police Department.

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