CCOP Safety Tips & Appeal For New Patrol Volunteers

CCOP has recently been asked to speak at a number of neighborhood organization forums regarding community concerns about rising crime and anti-social behavior within the Castro and Duboce neighborhoods.  Many people have a similar question at these events, namely “what can I do to help?”

I therefore wanted to offer some brief advice here that you can hopefully share with your family, friends and neighborhood / organization constituents.

 

  • Develop and sustain a Neighborhood Watch Program on EVERY block.  The non profit Safety Awareness For Everyone (www.sfsafe.org) will help you to do this for FREE, and the program itself only takes a relatively small time commitment to establish.  Neighborhood Watch programs are a time tested, proven method of enhancing safety and security.
  • Critically analyze your block for any safety weaknesses, such as defective streetlights, overgrown foliage which provides hiding places, dark areas at night etc.  Then work with the City and your Supervisor to help mitigate these weaknesses. SAFE and CCOP can both help you in this area, both with the analysis and the mitigation efforts.
  • Critically analyze your own home and / or building to identify any safety weaknesses.  Ensure all entry points are well secured and well lit during the hours of darkness. Consider motion detection lighting in all exterior areas and security cameras on all primary access points etc.  SAFE and CCOP can both help you in this area, both with the analysis and the mitigation efforts.
  • CALL Police if you see ANYTHING suspicious, the moment you see it.  Let the emergency services determine the priority of your suspicions and decide on an appropriate response.  Call 9-1-1 for anything that threatens life or property – and for any crime in progress.  Call the non-emergency 415-533-0123 number for non life or property threatening suspicions or crimes which occurred at some time in the past and a suspect is not still in the immediate area.   Calling police is essential to help build up an accurate picture of crime trends and patterns, and this all helps police target specific areas at specific times to improve the chances of catching criminals “in the act.”
  • Get involved, by becoming a CCOP Patrol volunteer.

 

I would also ask you to promote the last bullet point with your family, friends and neighborhood / organization constituents.  While I am clearly coming from a prejudice view-point, I firmly believe CCOP does some incredible safety enhancement work on behalf of the community, and our patrols have a real, positive and quantifiable impact on the neighborhood…..when we are able to field patrol teams.  Our challenge, as with all volunteer organizations, is attracting a large enough number of long term committed volunteers to patrol with us.  At present we only have around 20 active patrol volunteers who form our three person patrol teams. Such a small number of volunteers means we can only realistically field one or two patrols a month.  We would LOVE to field a patrol every day of the month, but that would require a significantly larger pool of volunteers than we currently have.

CCOP at the 2014 Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence 35th Anniversary in Golden Gate Park.

CCOP at the 2014 Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence 35th Anniversary in Golden Gate Park.

 

We only ask our patrol volunteers to commit to one, three hour patrol each month.  Patrolling is safe, fun, good exercise and enjoyable.  CCOP Patrol volunteers DO NOT make arrests or get physically involved, but they do form a very visible safety presence, and work closely with the private security, Patrol Special Police, San Francisco Police Department and if needed with the District Attorney’s office to advance overall safety and security for the whole Castro / Duboce Triangle neighborhood.  Anything you can do to encourage your friends, family and neighborhood / organizational constituents to join CCOP as Patrol volunteers will help us to deploy more patrols, more often and that in turn would make the neighborhood a little safer in our opinion.

 

Our next 3.5 hour new Patrol volunteer training class will take place on Tuesday November 11, 2014 from 7 PM to 10:30 PM right in the heart of the neighborhood.

 

Anyone interested can sign up by going to the CCOP web site and clicking on the [Sign Up Now] (https://www.castropatrol.org/volunteers/sign_up/) button.  If anyone has any questions or concerns, we’ll be more than happy to answer them.  Patrolling is entirely voluntary, so if anyone goes through our training and decides active patrolling is just not for them, we’re fine with that as they training they’ve received will be beneficial for them personally.  We hope however, of course, that most people will actually enjoy the patrolling experience and that they will become long term committed CCOP Patrol volunteers with us.

As we have limited funds, staffing and resources, YOUR help in promoting us and encouraging volunteers to train with us is essential to helping us grow and expand our ability to provide more patrols on behalf of the community.  YOUR assistance in this is most greatly appreciated and valued.

To give you a sense of what our Patrols do, I’m including a redacted patrol report, which was compiled following a recent Saturday evening patrol.

 

CCOP PATROL REPORT: SATURDAY 09/27/2014 Roving Foot Patrol

 

PATROLLERS:

 

  1. 06-0001 – Deputy Chief Ken Craig
  2. 09-0085 – Deputy Chief Brian Hill
  3. 14-0235 – Trainee Patroller Jeff Johnston

 

 

NOTABLE INCIDENTS:

 

  • 21:50 HRS 4300 BLOCK 18TH ST – Well Being Check (910): While patrolling East on the South side of 18th we observed a BMA who appeared to be sleeping in the bus shelter by Diamond St. We conducted a well being check and the subject woke up immediately and advised he was ok and did not require further assistance.

 

  • 22:20 HRS JANE WARNER PLAZA – Smoking (373): While patrolling East through the plaza, we observed a number of individuals smoking.  We advised four people of the no smoking rule and all complied.

 

  • 22:35 HRS JANE WARNER PLAZA – Well Being Check (910): As we were about to leave the plaza, we observed a tall WMA kneeling and bent over one of the plaza chairs in the North East corner. We approached to perform a well being check and the subject was unable to speak coherently and had erratic and seemingly uncontrolled spasms in his arms and legs as we tried to talk with him.  As we were contemplating summoning medical assistance, the subject got up to his feet and walked away, East along the South side of Market Street, frequently turning around and gesticulating towards us and shouting unrecognizable statements.  As he was clearly ambulatory and had refused assistance, we decided to continue our patrol.

 

  • 22:40 HRS CASTRO THEATER PARKING LOT – Loitering (373): While conducting a check of the lot we discovered some individuals loitering inside their parked vehicles with their engines off. We advised them of the no loitering ordinance and the reason for us enforcing the rule, and they complied and left their vehicles, exiting the lot on foot.

 

  • 22:50 HRS 495 CASTRO ST. – Posted No Trespass (MPC25): As we patrolled South on the East side of Castro Street, we observed two WMA individuals sitting within the doorway of a closed business which had a No Trespass sign posted. We advised the two individuals and they complied, gathering their belongings and leaving without incident.

 

  • 23:00 HRS 500 BLOCK CASTRO ST – Loitering (373): As we patrolled South on the East side of Castro Street, we observed two known homeless individuals loitering in the walkway plaza area adjacent to the Bank of America ATM machines.  One individual was charging his cell phone using an electrical outlet in the garden, while the other was sitting on the garden wall.  We advised them of the State Law against loitering and the individual charging his phone began to try to argue that his friend was using the ATM and therefore they should be able to stay there. We advised his friend could certainly use the ATM, but they could not loiter in the area afterwards for any excessive amount of time.  He continued to argue the point, when Patrol Special Police Officer Taswell stopped by to chat with us in his patrol vehicle.  The subject then approached Officer Taswell to plead his case, but Officer Taswell confirmed our advisory and the two subjects reluctantly complied, gathered up their belongings and left, walking North on the East side of Castro St.

 

  • 23:10 HRS CASTRO THEATER – Petty Theft (488): As we cleared the prior incident, two WFA’s approached us for assistance. They advised they had been at the Castro Theater earlier for a performance but once they left the theater one of the subjects realized her cell phone was missing.  The other subject used her cell phone to GPS track the other phone, which showed a location on Sanchez Street and was still actively pinging.  PSP Officer Taswell contacted the communications center to request an SFPD unit to attend and perhaps try to locate and recover the stolen phone, but the communications center advised the subjects would have to report in person to Mission Police Station instead.  The two subjects were contemplating going to Sanchez Street themselves to “knock on doors” but we eventually convinced them that their safety and well being was worth more than the cost of replacing a cell phone if it was not recovered.  We provided them with the CAD # XXXXXXXXX so they could make a formal report at Mission Station. We continued patrol, but routed ourselves North on Castro, then East on 19th and South on Sanchez just to ensure the two females did not try to approach the possible location of their cell phone.  We didn’t see them on Sanchez Street.

 

  • 23:50 HRS 2257 MARKET ST – Well Being Check (910): While patrolling West on the South side of Market Street we observed a BMA lying on his side on a bench outside the Pete’s Coffee, apparently asleep.  We conducted a well being check. The subject woke up, and without any suggestion, he decided to get up off the bench and leave the area on his own, walking West on the South side of Market St.

 

  • 24:00 HRS HARVEY MILK PLAZA – Smoking (373): While patrolling South on the West side of the 400 block of Castro Street, we observed 2x HFA’s and 1x HMA on the lower level of Harvey Milk Plaza smoking.  We advised them of the no smoking ordinance and they complied.

 

  • 00:05 HRS 400 BLOCK CASTRO ST – Amplified Sound (43): While patrolling South on the West side of Castro Street we observed a BMA sitting on the ground playing loud music through a small boom box.  We approached and advised him of the amplified sound law, and asked him to simply turn it down a little.  The subject became belligerent and verbally offensive, and refused to comply. We advised him we would have no choice but to call police if he did not comply, and again he refused and was verbally belligerent. We contacted Patrol Special Police and Officer Taswell arrived a few minutes later.  Officer Taswell reiterated our request and the subject again refused and was belligerent and verbally abusive.  Officer Taswell contacted the SFPD on duty patrol Sergeant for assistance.  As we waited for SFPD response, the subject finally got up and walked South on Castro, crossed East at 18th and walked North on the East side of Castro, ultimately ending up at the Chevron Station on Market Street.  SFPD unit 115 arrived and spoke with the individual who continued to be non-compliant and verbally abusive.  The subject was arrested and transported.

 

  • 00:40 HRS 4100 BLOCK 18TH ST – Well Being Check (910):  While patrolling West on the South side of 18th Street, we observed a known homeless BMA lying on his side on the ground with his pants half down, just outside of the historical museum. We performed a well being check and initially he was totally unresponsive, but after a few minutes he responded, getting up and leaving the area.

 

  • 00:43 HRS 4100 BLOCK 18TH ST – Posted No Trespass (MPC25): While handling the prior incident we observed two WFA’s sitting on the ground in the doorway to the museum with their belongings and a dog.  We advised them of the posted No Trespass sign and asked them to move to a different location.  They complied without incident.

 

  • 00:50 HRS End of Patrol

 

 

OTHER ITEMS OF NOTE:

 

  1. As we patrolled we met up with Patrol Special Police Officers TJ and Taswell.
  2. We performed passing calls at JB Liquors & Groceries (17th and Castro) and Noe Market (19th and Noe).
  3. We checked in with door staff at Badlands, The End Up, The Mix, Q-Bar, Midnight Sun and The Café.
  4. We made three patrol sweeps through the Castro Theatre Parking Lot.
  5. We made four patrol sweeps through Jane Warner Plaza.
  6. We made one patrol sweep on the Sanchez steps at 19th Street with nothing to report.

 

—- END OF REPORT

 

2014-07 Patrol Photo with Chief Carey - DChf Craig - DPtlr. Hill_0370

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