CCOP Welcomes New Mission Station Captain Gaetano Caltagirone

Mission Police Station will see a change in Captain on October 28th, with newly appointed Captain Gaetano Caltagirone taking over from Captain Bill Griffin.  CCOP would like to extend a warm welcome to Captain Caltagirone.  We look forward to working collaboratively to help improve and secure the safety and security of the Castro / Duboce Triangle neighborhoods.

Captain Gaetano Caltagirone is pictured on the right.

Captain Gaetano Caltagirone has a wide range of experience in patrol and most recently was the night Captain, in charge of SFPD’s city wide operations overnight.  We hope to meet with Captain Caltagirone soon.  Please take a moment to say hello if you see him in the neighborhood looking after his new command.

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Castro & CCOP Mourn The Passing of Officer John Fitzinger

It is with deep sorrow that we heard of the passing of Patrol Special Police Officer, and Castro beat owner, John Fitzinger on Friday October 6th and we pass this information on through our web site.

Officer Fitzinger took over the Castro Patrol Special Police beat following the death of Patrol Special Police Officer Jane Warner, and was eventually successful in purchasing the beat following approval by the Police Commission from former beat owner Serge White.  Officer Fitzinger was an amazing community Police Officer, committed and dedicated to absolutely everyone in the Castro, and everyone who visited the Castro.

CCOP worked very closely with Officer Fitzinger and relied heavily upon his experience, knowledge, and on more that one occasion, his back-up and support when we were on patrol.  John always brought a sense of calm and professionalism to every situation.

We, and the entire Castro community, will greatly miss this incredible Officer and friend.

Services in celebration of Officer John Fitzinger’s life will take place:

Friday October 20, 2017 @ 11 AM – St. Paul’s Church, 221 Valley Street, San Francisco, CA and will be followed by a reception at the Patio Cafe, 531 Castro Street, San Francisco, CA.

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Thank You To All Who Volunteered On 08/26!

Patrollers and CSVs:

Thank you for the generous donation of your time to help keep the Castro safe on Saturday. We had a total of 28 volunteers who put on the safety vest during the day for a visible safety presence and the willingness to step into the few situations that needed attention.
The one serious event of the day was the medical emergency involving the man who passed out in front of Twin Peaks bar. Our EMT volunteer Greg Albrecht was able to immediately attend to the victim’s needs and the Patrol teams were able to form a protective cordon around the scene and then escort the SFFD first responders and ambulance crew into and out of the area quickly.
For those of you who worked the early shift, please know that the teams who stayed in the Castro in the afternoon and evening received compliments on your behalf. Some of these came from organizers of the myriad of other groups that were part of the event (we worked with 24 community organizers in the 2 weeks leading up to Saturday), but most of the praise came from random strangers who saw your good work and recognized our distinctive uniforms.
There are a few photos of various volunteers here:
Invitation to Join CCOP
We want to remind the SCVs of our upcoming training workshop for new Castro Patrol volunteers. The 60th training event will take place on Saturday, September 16 from 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM. Invite friends to join as well. Seats are limited, but if you try to register after the number is exceeded, send me an e-mail and we will “force” an extra seat into the system. (Just in case we are overwhelmed with requests, we might need to ask you to wait until the next training day on November 7.)
To reserve your seat (and read more details about becoming a Patroller), follow this link:
castro community on patrol
Greg Carey, Chief of Patrol
“Saint Watchful Eyes of the Castro Beat” of the Order of the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence (2012)
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08/26 “Patriot Prayer” Event – What You Can Do To Help

Most people are very much aware of the Patriot Prayer event scheduled to take place in Crissy Field on Saturday August 26 from 2 PM to 5 PM.  Labelled as a “hate speech group” by the Southern Poverty Law Center, community concerns have been mounting following violence in Charlottesville, Virginia recently.

Crissy Field is located within the Federal Park Service jurisdiction and while they have approved a permit for the event, the decision to issue the permit and allow the event to move forward may not happen until Friday 08/25 according to Park Service representatives. Non the less, City Officials, Law Enforcement entities, and community organizers have been working to prepare for “the worst” while hoping for the best outcome, such as in Boston over the weekend.


  • We strongly recommend NOT going to Crissy Field to counter protest.  Working with many community leaders and organizations, as well as in consultation with the City and Police, we recommend that you instead attend one of the many Peace & Unity counter events which will take place in other parts of San Francisco.  This will allow Law Enforcement agencies to deal with the Patriot Prayer folks more easily should violence occur.
  • If you see anything which seems suspicious or activity which is racist, homophobic, violent etc. in the run up to Saturday or on Sunday, CALL 911 immediately and relate as much information as possible.  DON’T delay that call.
  • Capture video footage of any violent actions, threats, or incidents and contact your local Police station or the District Attorney’s office and offer to e-mail the video footage to them for evidentiary purposes.
  • DON’T engage in violence!!  This is precisely what these groups want to create.  Call 911 and step away as much as possible.  Allow the Police to hand the perpetrators, and hand them the video footage of the incident if you were able to capture anything.
  • BE SURE to let friends, visitors to San Francisco and so on know about the event and encourage them to avoid the Crissy Field and surrounding area entirely for the day.
  • Volunteer with one of the many counter events going on throughout the city on Saturday 08/26.
  • Volunteer with us as a Community Safety Volunteer (CSV) for the day.  You will work with our trained CCOP Patrollers as additional “eyes and ears” in the Castro to ensure no splinter groups or other opportunists come into the neighborhood to cause problems.  If we observe anything, we will contact 911 immediately.  (To volunteer send an e-mail to
  • Volunteer with groups working to promote diversity and equality after Saturday 08/26 as this may not be the last time such groups come to San Francisco.


Within the Castro we have worked with local businesses to place the signs below in their store-front windows.  This sends a clear message that the Castro is OPEN TO ALL, and we will not tolerate violence or hate filled speech from anyone.   These businesses also agree to provide a “safe space” for anyone in trouble. Simply step into any store with the sign and ask them to contact Police for you.

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A Time for Awareness

Shortly after the November 2016 election, Castro Patrol took part in 2 public safety workshops; one SOMA and one in the Castro. At that time, the attached document (link below) was produced to help the community prepare for possible attacks from right-winged organizations, and to remind people to turn to reputable news organizations to prevent spreading false rumors or fanning fear.

Time for Awareness_161121_2,pdf

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Recognizing Dedicated Service This Pride Month

Castro Community On Patrol (CCOP) is blessed with the solid and dedicated support of a great many people, who volunteer on a regular basis to help keep the neighborhood a little safer and more secure.  These volunteers are the true “life blood” of CCOP without whom very little could be accomplished.

We’d like to take a moment this Pride month to recognize the following individuals in grateful recognition of their years of service to CCOP and the community we serve.

Chief Greg Carey is recognized for TEN (10) years of dedicated service to CCOP.  A graduate of Patrol Volunteer Basic Training Class 004 on 01/28/2007.

Senior Patroller Alexander Upchurch for FIVE (5) years of dedicated service to CCOP. A graduate of Patrol Volunteer Basic Training Class 025 on 08/20/2011.

Patroller Neil Fullager for FIVE (5) years of dedicated service to CCOP. A graduate of Patrol Volunteer Basic Training Class 029 on 04/21/2012.

Ptlr. Michael Stoyka for FIVE (5) years of dedicated service to CCOP. A graduate Patrol Volunteer Basic Training Class 001, Mike took some time off, returning to re-certify in Patrol Basic Training class 030 on 06/07/2012.


All will receive a certificate of accomplishment and a lapel pin showing the years of service they have provided.  Our most sincere thanks to these Patrollers, and to all Patrollers who continue to commit their time and energy to CCOP on a monthly basis.

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Improving Neighborhood Safety

Recent crimes in the Castro and Duboce Triangle neighborhoods have raised the level of concern by many residents. While the police can occasionally make arrests if an officer sees a crime being committed (“On-View”) without the help of citizens, most crimes require: 1) An identified victim, 2) Someone willing to press charges, and 3) Witnesses able to testify if suspects are arrested. Otherwise, the police are helpless and the suspects are emboldened to repeat or escalate violence in future events. The linked PDF document provides details about improving the safety in your home and neighborhood:


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Avoid ATM Card Fraud


ATM Card Safety

A compromised Debit (ATM) card allows a crook to steal hundreds of dollars from your bank account. It is even possible to drain your account to zero. Notify your bank and file a police report if you are a victim. Banks generally deny being vulnerable, so contact Castro Patrol ( with details if you encounter an unsecure ATM in the Castro so we can work with the bank and civil authorities.

An electronic device may be placed over a legitimate terminal, such a gas pump, point of sale (POS) terminal in a store, or ATM to capture the data from the magnetic strip on the back. “Chip” transactions cannot be skimmed but some merchants have not yet moved to chip terminals. Contactless payments (ApplePay, Samsung Pay, etc.) are the most secure.

Some waiters or bartenders use small skimmers to copy the card when they turn their back or take your card away from your table. Credit cards are safer as fraud does not hit your bank account directly and it is often faster to reverse fraudulent transactions once you notify the bank.

To protect yourself:

  • Check for extra devices at the card slot on a gas pump or ATM
  • Use the “chip” not the mag strip when paying at a store
  • Always use a CREDIT card not your ATM card in restaurants or bars
  • Check your statement every month and notify the bank of any fraudulent transactions

Shoulder Surfing
Some ATMs ask, “Would you like another transaction?” at the end of your session and requires the PIN (Personal Identification Number) but not the card for more transactions. A crook near the ATM observed you entering your PIN and then uses it to retrieve cash if you don’t close out the transaction with a “NO” response.

To protect yourself:

  • Look around for someone watching your actions before using the ATM
  • Shield the keypad when entering your PIN
  • Read the screen to confirm the transaction closes, and answer “NO” to any additional transactions
  • Check your statement every month and notify the bank of any fraudulent transactions
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David Diaz Released from Jail

David Munoz Diaz has been released from SF County Jail following his 3rd conviction for various violent crimes. Please note that his probation includes a midnight curfew, so call 911 if you see him in public after that hour.

Details in Bay Area Reporter article: Article

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Community Patrol Service 2016 Castro / Duboce Triangle Crime Activity Report Posted

Our close partner, Community Patrol Service USA, just posted their final Crime Activity Report for December 2016, which also includes a table of all “calls to police for service” throughout the year.  You can find the report on our web site under the CRIME STATS tab.   Simply navigate to the Community Patrol Service – Crime Activity Reports section and select the 2016 Castro & Duboce Triangle Crime Activity Reports hyper link, or any of the prior years you may wish to view.

The report is graphically presented on a monthly basis from the Crime Mapping System data and provides a general guide to crime types and locations within a 1/2 mile radius of 2300 Market Street.  While it is a good guide, it does not include ALL incidents as they may not have made it into the Crime Mapping System before the reports were generated, or calls for service may actually not result in any action required by police.

Still, the reports help to show the level of calls to police, and the nature of those calls within a very small segment of the overall Mission Station and Park Station police divisions on a monthly basis.

We would certainly recommend that everyone review the weekly Captains newsletter produced by Captain Perea on the Mission Station web site, and sign up for the Park Station newsletter produced by Captain Sanford to help you stay up to date with what is happening is each Police district.

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