For most of last night’s monthly community meeting at Mission Police Station, the litany of neighborhood public service announcements ran as planned, with presentations about graffiti, needle exchanges and personal defense. Supervisor Rafael Mandelman, who represents Dolores Park and its surrounding environs, was in attendance, and stayed for the first 40 minutes of the meeting.
But as he stood to leave, Mission Station Capt. Gaetano Caltagirone gave Mandelman the floor for a few seconds longer to answer any questions the audience might have. Instead, those questions were directed at Caltagirone.
“I’m really troubled about the reports I’m hearing about drug use, especially near Mission High and the Children’s Day School,” resident Carolyn Kenady said. “I know you can’t stop-drug use. But if you can get a group [of officers] to stop drug sales.”
Kenady, who lives near Dolores Park, said that rampant drug use as well as overt drug dealing are making the area unsafe for residents and park-goers. Those complaints were layered on top of the usual reports of people sleeping in and around the park at night.
Kenady specified that her concern is not regarding marijuana.
Caltagirone told the audience that he had recently had a discussion on the matter with members of the Board of Supervisors.
“We’re going to come up with a plan to go into Dolores Park and to work on dealing with the drug use,” Caltagirone said.
In the meantime, he urged residents to keep reporting issues via 311 and its app equivalents to the city as issues come up.
Patrick Dillmann, another resident living near Dolores Park, spoke about people camping near the southern bathrooms in the park and said he would see them on the sidewalks, too. He complained about the homeless urinating on trees.
Dillmann asked about the police captain for an update on the prostitution issues surrounding Shotwell Street and the streets beyond.
“I came out of the Chapel at midnight on a Wednesday and they were on Mission and 19th,” Dillman said.
Caltagirone said he and the city are working on a solution, and that an independent party is assisting the police department. He would not go into details on the operation but reiterated that pictures of johns and pimps were being taken.
“I’m treating those women out there like my daughter, and I wouldn’t want them to be out there. It’s not right,” he said.