A group of people sitting in a room.
Members of the San Francisco Police Commission at a hearing on Wednesday, November 8, 2023. Photo by Kelly Waldron.

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.”

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Kelly is Irish and French and grew up in Dublin and Luxembourg. She studied Geography at McGill University and worked at a remote sensing company in Montreal, making maps and analyzing methane data, before turning to journalism. She recently graduated from the Data Journalism program at Columbia Journalism School.

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  1. This is a joke.
    Bring more bodies that’s not the solution the better start doing the job so serious because getting tired about the joke ,
    California is becoming kind of like a third world Country of politics. Special San Francisco.. what a joke.

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  2. Why doesn’t Scott just shout from the rooftops that the APEC week will be open season for criminals on residents and businesses in the rest of San Francisco, with the cops pinned down protecting “dignitaries” from the “first amendment activities” they dread?

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  3. Campers,

    I’ve called for SF to launch an International Mutual Aid Plan with sister cities.

    If we rotated 100 of our 26,000 employees, in 10 years when a disaster such as this gathering of colonial economic dictators … or, an earthquake …

    A thousand emergency personnel who had operated our systems could fly to our rescue.

    Just watching Elon Musk tell Lex Fridman, “It takes transormers to run transformers.”

    “You really need to be prepared for a tripling of electricity demands.”

    Speech Musk made to convention of Electrical Utilities.

    Think the Niners will ever win another game ?


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