District 9 Supervisor David Campos said that the recent gang violence in the Mission District and its aftermath demonstrates the need for strong community policing that includes foot patrols and outreach.
Earlier this month, Mission Police Capt. Greg Corrales described in detail how police cooperated with community groups to de-escalate the violence.
With the budget cuts of the last year and half, Campos, a former police commissioner, said that foot patrols citywide “have either been cut, completely eliminated in some places, and do not happen with the frequency that we want to see them.”
“There needs to be a level of trust and comfort between the police and the community,” Campos said in an interview with Mission Loc@l. “You can always have more community-based policing.”
At present, police said, there are three regular foot patrols in the Mission: one from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. at 16th and Mission, and two 24 hours a day, on Mission between 24th and 16th streets and on 24th Street.
However, foot patrols are redirected when violence escalates, as was the case with Aldo Troncoso’s fatal shooting in late February.
Although residents often talk about the need for more of a police presence, Proposition M, a ballot measure that would have required each police captain to establish a “Foot Beat Patrol Program,” failed last November, with 53.4 percent of the voters opposed to the measure. In the Mission, however, 62 percent of those who voted favored the proposition.
As a member of the Public Safety Committee, Campos has been holding hearings to assess community policing, which was first outlined in November 2006.
He said he would like to see a citywide policy that’s flexible but consistent.
There is some resistance from the police department to setting a fixed policy on community policing, and it’s unclear what Campos’s committee will finally propose.