Police Talk Quality-of-Life Issues, Shootings

Captain Moser, of SFPD's Mission Branch, listens to community concerns at last night's public meeting.

En Español.

Crime at 16th and Mission streets and the recent spate of shootings on 24th Street were at the top of the agenda for the 40 residents who attended the monthly neighborhood police meeting Tuesday night.

Mission Station is well aware of issues at 16th and Mission streets, Capt. Bob Moser said, and officers have been giving the area “a little extra attention.”

Just that day, Moser said, a single officer had issued 13 citations for quality-of-life infractions such as loitering, drinking in public and littering.

Another common offense in that area is “peddling without a permit, [for] the folks that lay their stuff out on the sidewalks.” On Monday, police arrested someone selling wares at 16th and Hoff streets.

One attendee was grateful for the extra attention.

“I want to applaud the fact that you did go down there,” he said. “Thank you.”

But the gratitude was far from universal.

“I find it very, very disturbing when I go down there,” said one man in the audience. When friends visit him, he added: “they just don’t feel safe. What are you guys doing as far as patrolling it? Because every time I go down there, I never see BART police.”

“I can tell you, we’ve made in excess of 130 arrests at 16th and Mission since April,” Moser said. “That’s not issuing tickets, it’s arrests.” However, Moser said, that number proves that “arrests alone isn’t going to solve the problem.”

“It’s going to take a concerted effort, which we’re kind of on the cusp of, working with the community and working with other agencies.”

But the audience member was not swayed. “To me, I see no progress,” he said.

Moser also updated the community about the four shootings along 24th Street in the last month. Police have made arrests in two of the cases, he said.

One suspect was arrested in connection with a June 26 shooting that occurred at 24th and Harrison streets. Another suspect was arrested leaving the scene of a shooting at 24th and Shotwell streets on July 20. Police said the suspect was found in possession of a firearm, but it is not clear whether that was the gun that was fired, said Moser.

The SFPD has “some very good leads” regarding a July 10 shooting at 24th and Folsom streets, Moser said.

Moser had no updates regarding the July 23 shooting at 24th and Harrison streets.

“All of these investigations are under investigation by the Gang Task Force,” he said.

The number of shootings in July was the same as in June, Moser said, but the total number so far this year is 29, compared to 18 for the same time period in 2011. However, the number of shooting victims is down 21 percent compared to last year.

The number of weapon seizures by police has also increased, Moser said.

Officers have seized approximately eight or nine firearms in the past several weeks, he said, bringing the total to 13 so far this year, including knives and other weapons. That’s a 16 percent increase compared to last year, he added.

“I’ve been hearing a lot of complaints from a lot of neighbors and merchants along 24th Street,” said Erick Arguello of the Lower 24th Street Merchants and Neighbors Association. Arguello said that he has also noticed a spike recently in crimes like loitering and muggings.

“We haven’t seen our beat officers in a long time,” Arguello said. “There is a difference when they’re there versus when they’re not.”

But Moser reassured Arguello that the beat cops “were never removed.”

“We try to get seven-days-a-week coverage, which we don’t get all the time, in addition to gang enforcement officers, plain-clothes officers, which are there on every day of the week,” he said.

There are no fewer than two officers along 24th Street at any given time, with as many as eight, the captain said. Since the recent shootings, police have added more patrols from 11 p.m. to 9 a.m., including some by plainclothes officers.

“We’re just trying to saturate the area as much as possible,” said Moser.

“On my block, I do occasionally see a group of young people all dressed in one color,” said a man who lives on Alabama and 24th streets. He asked the captain if he should be concerned about that.

Any remotely suspicious activity should be reported, Moser said, adding that all police stations have anonymous tip lines. SFPD can also receive tips via email or text message (address the message to 847411 and include “SFPD” somewhere in the text field).

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  1. livesthere

    BS. Pure and simple. Go there. Step in s**t, pass daily sidewalk/plaza vending, smoking, drunkenness, harassment (not just when someone decides to issue a citation). Its been this way since the beginning and will be the same tomorrow. Someone from out of town arriving on BART? Yeah, you know already, youll drive and pick them up, go and protect them or have them take supershuttle. Its an embarrassment to everyone but (apparently) the city officials, BART officials (many of whom live faaar away) and enforcers of the peace just 2 blocks away, but most of them live in another city too. Sad sad sad and no one is willing to change it. Cant tell from the google bus I guess.

  2. randolph mortimer

    “To me, I see no progress.”

    Couldn’t agree more.

    So the police say everything’s fine and Campos doesn’t see any problem at all – what can the neigborhood actually DO about any of these issues since nobody listens or cares?

    • Missionite

      We can elect another supervisor . He is suppose to speak for us. If we are unhappy with his performance. His position is up for election in Nov.

      • sfmissionman

        Unless you are a single issue voter, and your single issue is encouragement of illegal immigration, you have no reason to vote for David Campos.

  3. marco

    Citations have been issued for LOITERING at 16th and Mission BART? I have a hard time believing that. There’s plenty of other stuff going on there worthy of citations, such as rampant drug dealing, open containers, people passed out on the ground dead drunk. And regarding beat cops, in the past 10 years I have probably seen uniformed beat cops walking around the neighborhood 10 times at the most, and when I do see them, I always notice because it’s very out of the ordinary. I do see bike cops every once in a while, and plain clothes — I wouldn’t know.

    I will say that 16th and Mission seems pretty much the same as it always has been — neither better nor worse, though an embarassment all the same.

  4. Oscar Salinas

    Citations for street vendors?? WTF?! leave the street vendors alone trying to make a honest dollar. AS I WILL ALWAYS SAY OVER AND OVER AGAIN. IF YOU DONT LIKE LIVING BY 16TH OR 24TH AND MISSION THEN MOVE!! I am 41 years old and was born at SF General. Ive seen this for years. Instead of cops come give some job training or jobs to our latino youth and your issues will be gone. But at the same token don’t try to push our latino youth out the neighborhood and keep La Raza here where it all started.

    • J Smith

      Agree that jobs training would help, though we need beat cops too. There are too many kids and junkies doing whatever they want out there. How about adults/leaders of the La Raza in the community emphasizing getting an education and staying out gangs/away from crime to the youth? I don’t see much of that going on. Who are the leaders of La Raza trying to make things better and what are they doing? Businesses aren’t just going to serve up jobs to kids on a platter, that goes for Latino owned businesses too – I don’t see many teenagers working anywhere in the neighborhood, including the Latino owned stores.

    • Huong

      Street vendors don’t pay taxes on their business. That itself is a suitable reason to shut them down.

    • randolph mortimer

      I find it hilarious you would argue the ‘street vendors’ at 16th and Mission are trying to make an honest living.

      And of course, you bring racial issues into an article about gun crime and quality of life issues, because that’s what people in the Mission do : play the race card any time someone mentions it would be nice if we could have nice things.

  5. Shut down street vendors because they don’t pay taxes? Dios mio, how terribly elitist. Why don’t we do I.D. checks, too, just like in Arizona. I agree with those here who say if you don’t like the flavor of the Mission, then move back home.

  6. Well Mr Smith we of La Raza would step up and give job training and offer jobs to our Latino youth. But the landlords are not renewing our leases because they know out of towners coming from Utah, Wyoming, Arizona, Oregon etc will pay more money. There have been close to 8 Latino owned businesses pushed out of the Mission. Example “Pigs and Pie” I do not see one Latino youth working there. I did see some hipsters with colored hair though. Again if you don’t like the Mission go home.

  7. Well Mr Smith we of La Raza would step up and give job training and offer jobs to our Latino youth. But the landlords are not renewing our leases because they know out of towners coming from Utah, Wyoming, Arizona, Oregon etc will pay more money. There have been close to 8 Latino owned businesses pushed out of the Mission. Example “Pigs and Pie” I do not see one Latino youth working there. I did see some hipsters with colored hair though. Again if you don’t like the Mission go home.
    Please do go home…

    • randolph mortimer

      If you can’t afford the Mission, go home.

      • randolph mortimer

        Oops, I meant to say “if you don’t want to live somewhere where there’s shootings and urine everywhere, go home”.

        Or maybe, “if you’re white, go home”.

        Is that better ?

    • J Smith

      I used to have sympathy for your cause, but it’s hard after listening to the same complaints about gentrification. Gentrification and hipsters with colored hair aren’t preventing Latino youths in the Mission from studying hard, getting trained in a profession, and getting a job. What are you doing besides complaining? And I’ll be here a while… I worked hard, got a graduate degree and a good job, saved money and bought an apartment here. If you and your friends have been living in the Mission for so long, then you could have done the same a long time ago for a lot less money. But I suspect that many of the Latino families that did that back in the day have cashed in and moved out a while ago, fueling the gentrification that you complain about.

    • Bob

      Thanks for that dose of racism. I’m sure that white professionals should be blamed for Latino gang shootings.

  8. Just a reminder of what’s going on in the Mission:
    Gentrification and urban gentrification refer to the changes that result when wealthier people (“gentry”) acquire or rent property in low income and working class communities.[1] Urban gentrification is associated with migration within a population. In a community undergoing gentrification, the average income increases and average family size decreases. This generally results in the displacement of the poorer, pre-gentrification residents, who are unable to pay increased rents or house prices and property taxes. Often old industrial buildings are converted to residences and shops. In addition, new businesses, catering to a more affluent base of consumers, move in, further increasing the appeal to more affluent migrants and decreasing the accessibility to the poor.

    • Aaron Ross

      The shrillness of the “discourse” on this page is characteristic of the tense tone of the Mission in general. It sucks when poor people get pushed out of neighborhoods, but that it the cycle of urban decay and renewal, and no amount of complaining is going to do anything about it.

      Yuppies barricade themselves in secure lofts for a reason. It is not safe out there on the streets. Everyone seems to be out for himself. It’s a brutal place filled with nasty people. Sadly, the nasty people seem to outnumber the nice ones.

      And the police don’t do anything, because it’s dangerous work. Cops are too afraid of being shot, just like the residents are. That is why we need remote controlled drones and robots patrolling all of the streets, all of the time. I am completely willing to give up all expectation of privacy in exchange for law and order on the streets. But I don’t think that will happen, because gentrification is moving faster than technological advances in robotics. When the Mission is completely gentrified, it will be safe. I estimate that at about another ten to twenty years.

    • neighbor

      I find it very interesting that when one commenter asks what La Raza is doing to help support and train the youth in the Mission, the response we get from La Raza is “Gentrification!!! Derp!!!.” Gentrification is not the reason that people have been loitering, passed out drunk, dealing drugs, etc. at 16th and Mission for the last 25 years. The people who make 16th and Mission what it is, which is BAD, have no intention of joining the community around them in any meaningful way, working or not, white or not, Google bus or not. Do you really think that the kids loitering at 16th and Mission WANT to work at Pig and Pie? What is La Raza doing to help those kids WANT to work at Pig and Pie? I bet a whole lot of nothing, except maybe giving them the excuse of “gentrification.”

    • Kev

      I have lived in the Mission long before it was gentrified. I like some of the changes are but not all of them.

      There is no way to stop change for that matter so one must just roll with it.

      I must say however that I have never been the victim of a crime against my person in the Mission. My car has been broken in to once in twenty years.

      I am a biy confused that a commenter feels that gentrification will make us safe.

    • Huong

      This…coming from someone opening representing the Norteno street gang on their Facebook profile.

      • J Smith

        Exactly, that’s the message I’m getting… Gangs aren’t a problem in the Mission, the only problem and the only issue is gentrification. Latinos aren’t responsible for any of the issues going on in the Mission, it’s all people from “outside” who have invaded “their” neighborhood… And a reminder on that issue – before large numbers of Mexican immigrants moved into the neighborhood in the 1940s-1960s, the Mission was predominantly white (Irish, German and Polish American). But no one owns the neighborhood – I would like it to be diverse and welcoming for anyone. And Niner, if you want to live in a place where gangs run things, I’m sure there are some border towns in Mexico where you can get what you are looking for.

  9. I_want_a_safe_mission

    I don’t know what all you other commenters are going on about… I just want the shootings to stop.

  10. Kev

    Please slow the traffic on South Van Ness Ave as it has turned into a freeway.

    MUNI is constantly speeding.
    Taxis are constantly speeding.
    Everyone is travelling way faster than 25 mph.

    There have been huge accidents on a regular basis. This is a far bigger problem than many of the other issues.

    No other Mission district st as short as South Van Ness is allowed to move as fast.

    Please do something.

  11. Laura

    I agree that the vendors selling crappy used records from the 1980s should be left alone. I mean, the cops don’t have a million better things to do with their time, with the fact that people get stabbed, crack gets sold and all the other actually harmful things that happen within blocks of that BART stop?

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