Proposal allowing SF deputies to provide retail security to combat theft paused over concerns

ByMelanie Woodrow KGO logo
Wednesday, November 10, 2021
Proposal for deputies to provide SF retail security paused
The Board of Supervisors will hold off on considering a proposal that would allow San Francisco Sheriff's Deputies to provide security to stores.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- The San Francisco Board of Supervisors will hold off on considering a proposal that would allow San Francisco Sheriff's Deputies to provide private security to stores battling retail theft. This after the San Francisco Police Officers Association expressed concerns.

Viral videos highlight the retail theft problems in San Francisco; from stolen handbags at Neiman Marcus to stolen toiletries at Walgreens, a video ABC7 News Reporter Lyanne Melendez took.

VIDEO: Thief steals garbage bag full of items from SF Walgreens with security filming in plain sight

Cell phone video taken Monday shows some of the brazen crime that has been driving retailers out of San Francisco.

"For about a year I've been ringing the alarm," said San Francisco Supervisor Ahsha Safaí.

Supervisor Safaí recently proposed San Francisco Sheriff's Deputies provide private security for San Francisco stores, similar to the private security San Francisco police officers sometimes provide.

The stores hiring the officers or deputies pays for their overtime.

"Many retailers were saying they wanted to hire more law enforcement but there just were not enough officers available," said Supervisor Safaí.

RELATED: San Francisco repeat offenders responsible for retail theft, police say

The Board of Supervisors was supposed to take up the proposal Tuesday but on Monday the San Francisco Police Officers Association requested a "meet and confer" to discuss their concerns, thereby postponing the Board's plans.

"Before anyone else joins the party we just want to make sure that all the rules are met," said SFPOA Vice President Tracy McCray.

McCray says those concerns include deputies' training and ability to investigate.

"Because they work in such a controlled environment which is the jail," said McCray.

RELATED: What is San Francisco doing to fight organized retail theft? SFPD and DA Chesa Boudin respond

After the viral robbery of Neiman Marcus in San Francisco, DA Chesa Boudin and SFPD are explaining how they're fighting organized retail theft.

"It's obvious by saying that, that they're not familiar with the training that we have," said San Francisco Sheriff Paul Miyamoto.

"We all have what are called crisis intervention technique training," said Sheriff Miyamoto.

"We have a criminal investigations unit that already manages all of our arrests, follow up investigations," he continued.

The SFPOA's meet and confer will happen tomorrow with the Board of Supervisor potentially taking up the proposal next week instead.

RELATED: San Francisco to reward up to $100K for info leading to arrests of organized theft rings

"We believe it will suppress this retail theft that's impacting our city," said Supervisor Safaí.

"I'm actually looking forward to making sure that we can reassure everybody as to our skillset and ability," said Sheriff Miyamoto.

"With rampant theft as it is now we probably need the national guard to come in and be at every store in this city," said McCray.