Community Policing: Stand and Deliver
October 18, 2005
Two meetings - held separately - today will address deadly violence in this town purporting herself to the world as the city that knows how.
Supervisor Sophie Maxwell will ask San Francisco Board of Supervisors to convene itself to hear status reports from every city agency charged with countering violence.
At almost exactly the same time, Chief Heather Fong presides in a City Hall "kick-off meeting for the teams who will be working with the community groups including members of the Board of Supervisors to develop the district plan," Fong told the Sentinel last night.
That plan, launched last August as CitySafe, aims to incorporate all - both city and community-based - social service programs into a community-policing model.
Following last weekend's fatal shootings in her District, Maxwell yesterday told of her intention to gather a city and community roundtable discussion launched in addition to the CitySafe project.
And Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi quickly agreed to co-sponsor Maxwell's bid.
Both supervisors, who each represent districts plagued by continuing violence, expressed exhasperation with CitySafe progress.
"This is a crisis situation, we are in a crisis, and we are not handling it," Maxwell told the Sentinel.
"If it had happened in other parts of the city
"If two children had been left motherless, fatherless. If a whole family had been wiped out with the mother shot, in other (affluent) parts of the city, I really believe we would have been meeting on Sunday."
As for CitySafe outreach to Maxwell's Office, "I certainly haven't been called," Maxwell stated.
"I haven't been briefed on anything," she reflected.
In speaking with the Sentinel, Mirkarimi likewise reported the number of calls he received regarding CitySafe since its launch were, "none, nada, zero."
To our eyes, protocols for developing broadest possible community involvement ironically may have slowed its advance - with real-time carnage unabated.
As life's best results often seem to come from paradox, we suggest vulnerability can produce great strength.
Mayor Newsom took that step welcoming political critic, Mirkarimi, as CitySafe partner.
Both and Mirkarimi and Maxwell, through their weight for results, deported themselves without gotcha complaints.
We propose that everyone - including the press, activists, and residents - forgo pulling at scabs, picking at this issue, and simply make necessary resources a reality.
San Franciscans continue to die because they are poor, marginalized and suffer economic disempowerment.
Do what's necessary - whether declaration of emergency or by coaxing cash out of the opera set in public-private partnership - to move together immediately as foretold.
For those who move quickest from stick rather than carrot, envision San Francisco leading the nation as example for languished economy - due to national boycott and stigma that would come with national spotlight as a racist community.
Less full hotel rooms, empty restaurants, tax revenues down, businesses closed.
The Sentinel stands ready to use its meager powers and resources to garner national spotlight on manifest implementation, as well as draw attention to latent promise.
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