Home   Google ARCHIVE SEARCH: Date:

District Attorney reports new drug suppression efforts but acknowledges residents don't see full results

The San Francisco spirit is willing for a combination of prevention, intervention, and suppression to beat back district 6 drug related crime, District Attorney Kamala Harris empathizes with residents. But the means don't satisfy yet.
Photo(s) by Luke Thomas

By Pat Murphy

July 25, 2006

Despite revamped drug suppression efforts on Market Street a lack of police resources leaves residents wanting much more, the District Attorney acknowledged Monday.

Residents voiced familiar refrain of no visible improvement on the 900-1100 blocks of Market and along the 6th Street corridor, drawing District Attorney bottom line explanation.

"District 6 has 70% of the crime in the City but does not have 70% of the police," DA Kamala Harris told a District 6 community gathering.

"I don't want you to leave here feeling helpless or hopeless," added Harris.

"When I leave these meetings I go back and I talk with other decision makers in the City, and I say listen this is what I'm hearing from that community," she reported.

Harris made the remarks before South of Market neighbors convened by a group calling itself the Community Leadership Alliance.

"We can do a lot more and there's a lot more to be done," Harris acknowledged.

A lot has been done, she said, which may not be fully visible on the streets.

"I don't intend to stand here tonight and suggest that everything is rosy or perfect," pledged the District Attorney.

"I live in this district so I know what it's like to live here and I know what it's like to see what's going on up and down 6th Street and up and down around the Hall of Justice, and in the Tenderloin. I pass through these streets every single day."

Violent crimes and felony convictions increased markedly in the last two years, she noted.

"As it relates to serious and violent felonies, whereas in the year 2003 our conviction for serious and violent crimes that went to trial was 63%.

"We have increased that to 78%.

"We have increased commitment to state prison for the felonies that we prosecuted over the last two years as compared to 2003.

"We've increased the state prison commitment by 40%.

"We have almost doubled the convictions for complaints of domestic violence that we received.

"We have doubled the number of misdemeanor cases that we have taken to trial and therefore obviously exponentially increased the convictions for things that range from DUI to quality of life cases.

"We have created a child assault unit that did not exist in the San Francisco DA's office, doing more focus around high tech crimes and crime that is happening via use of the internet and the web that can impact everyone as it relates to children and cyber predators to seniors... who might use the web as seeking financial transactions... of fraud."

Additionally drug crime has become a priority for the District Attorney's Office, Harris detailed.

"About 60% of our cases involve drug cases and narcotics.

"It impacts the most people in our community and for that reason we've created around drug crime in our office.

"One of the first areas we focused on was Drug Court.

"Part of what the criminal justice system does when it is smart is focus on the reasons people commit crimes to do something about the underlying cause.

"Over time this court that had been designed to deal with people who commit crimes due to their drug addiction had become a haven for sellers and drug dealers - and it was time to put a stop to it.

"So, with a lot of protest from the Public Defender's Office and some people on the bench, we put a stop to allowing drug sellers and drug dealers from going into Drug Court."

Harris also extended stay away orders from 150 feet to an entire neighborhood, she reported.

Even so, those present uniformly complained the streets remain rife with drug related crime.

The San Francisco Board of Supervisors is expected to approve a City budget allocation by August 1 for 250 more police officers in the coming year.




The Hunger Site

Cooking Classes
in Buenos Aires

Buenos Aires B&B

Calitri in southern Italy

L' Aquila in Abruzzo

Health Insurance Quotes


Bruce Brugmann's


Civic Center

Dan Noyes

Greg Dewar

Griper Blade


Malik Looper






MetroWize Urban Guide

Michael Moore

N Judah Chronicles


Robert Solis

SF Bay Guardian





SFWillie's Blog



Sweet Melissa