Chief William Scott hosts Virtual Citywide Public Safety Meeting

On Mon., June 14, San Francisco Police Department (SFPD) Chief William Scott, SFPD Command and SF SAFE joined together to host a Virtual Citywide Public Safety Meeting on Zoom. The chief announced that he will be hosting the meetings on a monthly basis, in addition to the ten district station community meetings held by local captains.

Chief Scott kicked off the meeting with a greeting, general overview and then passed the baton to his SFPD command staff for introductions and various updates.

During the meeting, the SFPD focused on wide-ranging topics, including how the department is preparing for reopening—such as, at that time, San Francisco’s Pride celebration. Also covered were ever-changing crime trends, bias training implemented by the SFPD, three general orders at the SFPD (bias, detention and harassment), and a strategic plan created by the community for greater responsiveness and accountability, per the chief in a post-event wrap-up.

The SFPD also made it a priority at the meeting to underscore its community policing principles, encompassing communication, education, relationship building, problem-solving, and reorganizing the department to serve the San Francisco community in the most impactful way possible. The department’s community engagement unit, said the chief, has a longtime commitment to working collaboratively with community members and also the Chief’s Community Advisory Forums—consisting of diverse city stakeholders representing various communities and sectors, including small businesses and nonprofits. The chief additionally underscored another community policing initiative—the SFPD’s Community Police Advisory Boards—which weigh-in on public safety policy and neighborhood resources—and added that its PAL programs are back, including the Summer Cadets, as are other community programs.

Some key crime updates were also covered in the meeting, such as recent sideshows which see the SFPD’s Field Operations working together with the CHP, district stations and the department’s Traffic division to spearhead investigations.

“New legislation was also enacted at the Board of Supervisors which allows SFPD to seize vehicles for 14-30 days as a preventative tool, and overall, we have been very successful in curbing this crime,” said Chief Scott.

Another “hot topic” during the meeting was fireworks. “We want to also remind the public that it is illegal to light fireworks in the City & County of San Francisco and we have a community tip line for the Fourth of July to assist our department and make sure everyone enjoys a safe, family oriented holiday,” the chief said. Look

for SF SAFE’s article on fireworks in this newsletter issue for more info.

Time was also spent during the meeting in virtual breakout rooms, each of which included members of the SFPD’s Command staff to help lead the conversation and answer the questions of participating community members. Look for more info on breakout topics in a separate article on the topic in this newsletter.

“We have many challenges to tackle, but if we do it together, working hand-in-hand, we are confident that we will make tangible reforms and ultimately shape a more safe and vibrant community,” said Chief Scott in follow-up to the meeting.