William Siffermann, San Francisco’s chief juvenile probation officer, thinks so. He told the Bay Citizen that after a shooting involving a probation officer and a known gang member in the Mission in late September, he’s been trying to get people on board to arm a handful of officers who deal with the most violent offenders.
“In my 42 years of experience, I have never seen a more critical need to provide us with an increased level of safety,” Siffermann told The Bay Citizen. “I can’t wait for something to happen and then have someone who has fallen in harm’s way say, ‘Chief, you knew officers were at risk, and you did nothing.’”
Most probation officers who handle adult and juvenile cases around the state have the authority to carry handguns. Nevertheless, Siffermann has been exceedingly cautious in floating the idea in San Francisco, where opposition to handguns in general is high.