Manny’s cafe
Manny’s cafe. Photo by Yujie Zhou. Taken Jan. 23, 2023.

For the first time in its brief history, Manny’s Cafe at 16th and Valencia streets changed its interior furnishings to face Valencia Street outside its windows looking west. It was no coincidence: The topic Monday night was the future of Valencia Street. 

But first, between the weekend shootings in Monterey Park and the Monday afternoon shootings in Half Moon Bay, the audience had plenty of questions for the Mission Station Captain Michael McEachern. 

Why doesn’t he provide more beat cops for protection? “The reality is, I can’t,” noting that he only has 10 beat cops to deploy to a district that includes Noe Valley and the Castro.

Why don’t beat cops don’t stay out past 9 p.m? “I don’t have staffing at 9 p.m.,” he said. “The sheer volume of calls we get requires that I put officers in motor vehicles just to respond to high priority calls all night long.”

A screenshot of the SFPD district map (https://www.sanfranciscopolice.org/your-sfpd/sfpd-stations/station-finder).

The last SFPD report on staffing, from 2021, shows the Mission Station at 145 officers, with a recommendation to add 36 officers, for a total of 181. Overall, according to the report, San Francisco has 1,830 officers, with the need to add 352. 

McEachern said that the new use of force reporting rules had increased administrative time. In the past, when there was no injury, there was no complaint. Now, officers must report each use-of-force incident, including grabbing someone by the arm, which he demonstrated with the proprietor and cafe owner, Manny Yekutiel. The victim of such a physical encounter may disagree with McEachern. At any rate, the new rules require reporting such incidents.

“It’s just time-consuming,” McEachern said. A silence fell over the audience.

Another audience member asked McEachern if, after George Floyd, he believes that trust between the community and the police needs to be rebuilt. “As far as the George Floyd thing. I don’t know what to say to that. I’m not convinced that happens that much,” McEachern said of Floyd’s murder by a police officer in Minneapolis.

“I know they (such incidents) get a lot of news. I know they get a lot of highlights, but it’s not a reflection of the reality of what’s out there,” he said, without answering the question of whether trust-building is needed.

Later, in the second half of the event, an audience member discussed how he felt after hearing the captain speak.

Violent crimes, he said, get the attention of an under-resourced department. “As ordinary people with ordinary needs, we don’t really feel like we have the support of the police department,” he said. 

The second half of the meeting, by contrast, was a more harmonious discussion concerning SFMTA’s proposed center-running bike lane on Valencia Street.

Jamie Parks and Kimberly Leung, two SFMTA officials, told the audience that the center-running bike lane is a pilot program that could last up to 18 months. They hope that it gets approval in March and, after a construction process of four to six weeks, that it will be in place by summer.

For safety reasons, the bike lane will have a curb and fatter posts. A break of 10 feet about every 100 feet or so is currently being proposed to help cyclists move out of the bikeway and visit merchants on the side of the street. At the intersections, a planned system of light boxes or signals will help with the movement on and off in the bikeway. 

As a pilot program, Leung said, “If we’re seeing that there are major concerns, safety issues, we do have the option to end the pilot sooner.”

When Yekutiel asked how many in the audience support the bike lane, and how many oppose it, about 20 were for it and about 10 were against it.

Some audience members also mentioned the issue of double parking for delivery workers, and asked if SFMTA had made any attempts to hold delivery companies like DoorDash accountable.

Parks explained that SFMTA has tried to work directly with the delivery companies, but it has been very challenging. “I don’t know that they’ve had an incentive necessarily to work with us,” he said. “Ultimately, we need the companies to be accountable and to work with us on the solutions. And right now, whether it’s Lyft, or Uber or DoorDash, we don’t always get that response.”

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REPORTER. Yujie Zhou is our newest reporter and came on as an intern after graduating from Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism. She is a full-time staff reporter as part of the Report for America program that helps put young journalists in newsrooms. Before falling in love with the Mission, Yujie covered New York City, studied politics through the “street clashes” in Hong Kong, and earned a wine-tasting certificate in two days. She’s proud to be a bilingual journalist. Follow her on Twitter @Yujie_ZZ.

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  1. I would like to take this opportunity to say I support the San Francisco Police Department.

    That is an unpopular position on this website, but it apparently is not such an unpopular position with rank-and-file SF citizens.

  2. Can someone tell me how to get notified about these meetings? I would have attended if I had known about it. Thanks.

  3. Campers,

    The Mission used to be Irish many of those remaining resent the new Latinos.

    One of those would be the Mission Captain.

    Last year he floated building a new concrete barrier around the place.

    He thinks he’s defending the Alamo.

    When he finished his part Manny asked him to go outside the door and into hall so people could ask him questions.

    I was first and asked if he’d support putting a permanent Public Toilet next to the Front Door of the station.

    He said he had to go back inside and listen to the rest of the program and he’d talk to me later.

    And, don’t keep saying the department is understaffed like that makes for fewer cops on the streets.

    They are required by law to fully man personnel levels all the time !!

    They give their officers overtime to fill the gaps.

    The practice is reliable enuff for them to plan a mortgage on the overtime cash.

    Bigger question is why did Cashman send this guy to us ?

    He still doing staffing moves ?

    Go Niners !

    h.

    1. H, This captain was sent to you because he is pretty competent – able to lead and manage his officers who are surely few in number when compared to the volume of calls. Overtime will not address the staffing shortage…it helps but still not enough. Cashman???? H., he has been gone for a long time. J.

      1. J. Miller,

        My mind is going and the equipment below has seen better days.

        I think the best move for the City would be to make top cop an elected position.

        Someone who can respect but ignore the Mayor and the POA.

        Michael Hennessey’s idea, not mine.

        Cashman been gone that long ?

        Delugnuts still around?

        lol

        I wore a uniform with an American flag on my Left shoulder proudly for 11 years.

        I support crushing the Russian military.

        Love and Peace !

        Go Niners !!

        h.

        1. H, My mind also slips. Hennessy – sharp guy. But electing chiefs not good. Elect good mayors and supervisors and trust/hope they will hire a chief that is up to the task. Encourage your friends and relatives to consider joining a police department . Question and criticize the police but do not mock, and acknowledge good police work. There is much of it being done but it is never covered by Mission Local and other news outlets. J.

      2. J. Miller,

        My mind and memory are fading and it get’s worse the further South you go.

        lol

        I liked Cashman lots.

        Always had a spirited exchange with Delugnuts that goes back to Hongisto if you can believe it.

        My problem with McEircan (I’ll learn to spell it soon) … is he really did say that he wanted to build a concrete wall around the Station.

        He really did walk away when I ask if he’d support putting a Public Toilet next to the Mission Station Front door.

        I think the best thing is to rotate a Latino other than Corralles over there.

        Preferrably a gay Female.

        Then, support making our Police Chief an elected office.

        One where its leader can both respect and ignore the Mayor and the POA.

        Gary Delagnes agreed with me on that one.

        Marty Halloran too.

        “I haven’t seen a Foot Patrol in the twenty years I’ve been here.”

        One woman said that and the crowd erupted.

        I’ve been here on this street 8 years and picked up trash along entire Valencia Corridor and I’ve never seen a cop on a Foot Patrol.

        Go Niners !!

        h.

  4. Why are the police protecting the Gucci store downtown instead of looking out for ordinary citizens and enforcing obviously illegal behavior like the BART stolen goods flea market.

    1. 💯 Percent spot on comment. Why do suburban upscale shoppers get protection and service from the SFPD btefore local taxpaying residents under Breed and her Chief Scott?
      Further, why do poor people get removed from public spaces by Urban Alchemy for benefit of wealthy white business owners?

  5. “trust between the community and the police needs to be rebuilt”

    Fat chance, law enforcement all over the U.S. including even SF and Berkeley are proud to be Trump-loving thugs.

      1. How about an apolitical paramilitary, in exchange for bearing weapons under color of authority, you agree to forfeit your right to political speech in that capacity. Don’t like it? Get another job.

  6. WRT double parking. Nobody would “work” with me if I got ticketed for double parking my car to run into a restaurant for a pickup. How is this expected to be any different when a Dasher does that. SFMTA need to get their heads examined.