Fong, SFPD captains, POA, join Newsom in opposing
popular foot patrol legislation
SFPD Chief Heather Fong stands with several district captains
and POA President Gary Delagnes in support of Mayor Newsom's veto
of popular foot patrol legislation mandating foot patrols in areas
most impacted by violent crime. The press conference was called
earlier today on the eve of Tuesday's Board of Supervisors meeting
where Supervisors will vote to either sustain or override the
By Brent Begin, Bay City News Service
November 13, 2006
SAN FRANCISCO (BCN) - San Francisco Police Chief Heather
Fong unveiled a department plan today to put 44 officers on daily
foot patrols throughout the city, trumping recently
vetoed beat patrol legislation passed
by the Board of Supervisors.
In a room filled with department captains, Fong stopped short
of saying whether or not she would comply with legislation if
supervisors pull together the eight votes required to overturn
Mayor Gavin Newsom's veto.
"I believe that legislation is not necessary to dictate
to captains of police -- who, if you look at all the captains
who are here, there's over 250 years of experience -- in terms
of applying resources within their districts," Fong said.
Police Chief Heather Fong
Fong said the department plan will go "above and beyond"
the legislation, which calls for a yearlong pilot program in eight
of the city's 10 police districts. She added that the department
plan will provide a flexibility that legislation can't provide.
The plan was outlined on a map of the city marked with red lines
in neighborhoods where the patrols will begin starting Nov. 24.
They include Fisherman's Wharf and Union Square in Central station,
where two officers will be assigned, and the mid-Market Street
area of the Southern station, where five additional officers will
In the Bayview station, three more officers will be assigned
to San Bruno Avenue and Potrero Hill. In Mission station, six
officers will be assigned to the 24th and 16th streets areas.
Four more officers will be assigned to Northern station, and
three officers will work the Western Addition, Lower Haight and
In the Richmond station, two officers will cover Clement Street
and Geary Boulevard. At Ingleside station, eight officers will
work Mission Street between Cesar Chavez Street and Richland Avenue
and Silver and Geneva avenues.
In Taraval station, four officers will work along Randolph Street
and the outer Mission area, and finally, at Tenderloin station,
seven officers will be added to the beat.
All the officers were freed up from administrative positions
within the department that were civilianized in the last few months,
according to Fong.
Police Officer Association President Gary Delagnes also offered
his support today, criticizing the Board of Supervisors' plan.
"This is an ill-advised attempt by the board to become
involved in our affairs," Delagnes said. "They're not
professionals. They don't understand what we do, in many instances,
and I believe they should leave the decisions up to the people
who are paid to make those decisions."
POA President Gary Delagnes
Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi, who sponsored the foot patrol legislation,
said of Fong's comments, "Chief Fong, with all due respect,
is putting politics before public safety. The captains have always
had discretion in applying resources to foot beats.
"We just want to build-in a level of accountability and
oversight for the benefit of increased public safety in those
areas that will benefit the most from police foot patrols."
Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi.
Mayor's Office of Communications Director Peter
Ragone said of the decision by Newsom to veto the legislation,
"We think it's bad legislation and we've been completely
Luke Thomas contributed to this report.
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