SF Hikes Police Patrols Amid Rising Crime

San Francisco has deployed more than two dozen police officers to popular tourist destinations around the city in response to an increase in crime. Twenty-six officers, on bike and on foot, will carry out patrols in 5 of its 10 districts including Chinatown, which has seen a recent surge in violence.

Mayor London Breed pointed to research by UC Berkeley's California Policy Lab that showed crimes like theft and aggravated assault declined when officer deployment increased.

“We want to make sure that we see officers, that we have our community ambassadors, that we have eyes on the street and that people know there are folks here watching," Breed said. "And that people know that if you choose to commit a crime in this city, you will be held accountable. So that people know that they feel safe and they feel good about their experiences."

"If you go to Union Square, Market Street, Powell Street, Chinatown, Lower Grant, Pier 39, Fisherman’s Wharf, North Beach and the crookedest part of our city, Lombard Street – where we have had some issues, you should be seeing some officers there and those officers do make a difference,” said Police Chief Bill Scott.

San Francisco leaders aren’t just trying to confront rising crime. They’re also trying to combat the perception that San Francisco has become a city of lawlessness. Retail business owners say theft is out of control. Target has cut hours at all of its San Francisco stores as a result. Videos of brazen shoplifting have gone viral and are played on a loop on conservative news shows and websites — an example, they say, of the chaos liberalism has wrought.

A recent Twitter foul hasn’t helped matters. Responding to a tweet about the rise in crime, an aide to San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin — who is already facing a recall effort — suggested that these concerns were driven purely by racism.

“…your reminder that “the ‘crime surge' crowd shares the same ideology as The Birth of a Nation,” wrote Boudin’s senior official Kate Chatfield.

That crowd apparently includes the city’s African American police chief and Mayor London Breed.