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San Francisco Police Commission
holds special Bayview meeting

By Brent Begin, Bay City News Service

September 28, 2006

SAN FRANCISCO (BCN) - While city leaders have had their chance in the last several weeks to speak publicly about combating violence, several people closer to the crimes finally had their own platform last night at a special Bayview District San Francisco Police Commission meeting.

Heads of community groups, churches, outreach programs, along with the captain of the Bayview's embattled police station, spoke tonight at the Earl P. Mills Community Auditorium in front of all seven commissioners.

The meeting was the first to be held outside City Hall since a special meeting took place in the Western Addition in June. Many speakers took the opportunity to call for better relations with police.

"The relationship between the Police Department and the community is not good," said Arelious Walker, the pastor of True Hope Church of God in Christ. "Until we can sit down and come up with a workable plan, it's not getting better."

Other speakers offered strategies for preventing violent crime and homicides. Ayinde Loudd of the Clear project called on the Police Department to print and distribute posters for homicide cases in which a reward is offered.

Other speakers called on police to fund a special bullet-tracking technology called ShotSpotter, which was recently implemented in Oakland.

Capt. Albert Pardini, head of the Bayview station, said he is doing everything he can to stop the violence and improve community relations despite two years of setbacks for the station.

"Morale has been like a rollercoaster," Pardini said referring to the station's officers since the 2004 shooting death of Officer Isaac Espinoza.

Pardini said every time the station gets back on its feet, something like the release of a controversial video turns the station "upside down."

Pardini said his ground rules were just taking effect, "and then Officer Birco was killed."

"We're moving forward, but once again we're one news story from getting slammed," he said.

While many of the speakers called on the Police Department to work on community relations and homicide response, others took the opportunity to thank officers for putting their lives on the line to protect the community.

Public housing was also a hot issue at the meeting. Commissioner Joe Veronese responded to a housing authority representative by pointing outside the darkened auditorium to the projects outside.

"Much of the housing up here on the hill, I would consider substandard," Veronese said.

He also said he would "knock" down many of the units because San Franciscans should not live like that. Supervisor Sophie Maxwell, who represents District 10, also complained about much of the available public housing in the area. She said many of the units are used as squats, and that the workmanship is below standard.

Copyright © 2006 by Bay City News, Inc. -- Republication, Rebroadcast or any other Reuse without the express written consent of Bay City News, Inc. is prohibited.




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