The San Francisco Police Department is calling all hands on deck for next week’s APEC confab, mobilizing all of its staff and bringing in hundreds of additional officers from outside the city.
The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit, which begins Saturday, is expected to attract some 30,000 high-profile guests to San Francisco, including diplomats, business leaders, journalists and senior political leaders from 21 nations — and President Joe Biden.
The city has beefed up protections in the downtown area, creating “zones of exclusion” reserved for attendants, rerouting transit routes, and reinforcing security.
“This is a really, really large-scale event,” said SFPD Chief William Scott, in an APEC overview during Wednesday’s Police Commission hearing at City Hall.
Under the watch of the U.S. Secret Service, some several hundred law enforcement officers from around the Bay Area have been enlisted to come into the city this weekend ahead of the summit, said Scott.
“It’s fairly rare for us to request,” said Scott. “But it’s not totally uncommon.”
Contingency plans have also been arranged, should the SFPD trigger a request for even more reinforcements from other counties, which Scott called “mutual aid.” Such reinforcements are typically reserved for emergencies, not pre-planned events; for instance, forest fires or incidents of civil unrest.
Most of those officers will come from the California Highway Patrol, who will have a presence at various venues and both the Bay and Golden Gate bridges, both of which will be partly closed off. Other officers from at least eight outside agencies will assist with the “escort of dignitaries,” including the San Mateo County Sheriff and Daly City and Menlo Park police departments.
On top of that, much of the SFPD’s force will be on call for the event: Just under 600 officers, to be assigned in various capacities.
Scott said some of these contingencies are in place based on “what’s out there in open source on First Amendment activity,” he said. “We don’t know what’s going to happen, but we need to prepare for it as if everything that we see is going to happen.”