Northern Station Newsletter
Captain Greg McEachern
September 19, 2013 #19-13
In my last article I wrote about the return to school for our students and the need for motorists to be aware of students walking to and from school. I also wrote that uniformed officers would be visible in and around schools to see that the streets were safe for students, parents, and residents. I was pleased to see that we had no incidents involving students and motorists and I was equally pleased to see that we issued very few citations for violations by motorists around the schools in our district. I firmly believe that education and awareness was the key to our successes and I’d like to especially thank all of you who live in our district for heeding to our students, being aware of the concerns I raised, and for contributing to the successful campaign to keep our students safe.
Staffing levels at Northern Station have remained relatively consistent over the past year even with fluctuations up and down based on retirements and hiring. We are past the large wave of retirements that our department endured over the past few years where we lost more than three hundred officers. Thankfully we are now offsetting those losses with hires and we’ve seen four recruit classes come through training at Northern Station in the past year. Currently our sworn numbers are at one hundred and two officers at Northern and I’m hopeful that the number will steadily grow now for the next year as we continue Academy classes. I’m hopeful that within the next couple of years Northern station staffing will be back near one hundred and twenty officers which will allow for increased patrol officers, increased traffic officers, increased undercover officers, and of most importance, the reinstitution of many of our foot beats that were suspended due to lower staffing levels. I will keep you updated on our personnel at Northern as we move on throughout this year and next year.
Speaking of foot beats, we lost one of our foot beats on the Polk Street corridor recently. The long time foot beat officer on Polk Street, Philip Papale, was recently transferred to the Traffic Unit (motorcycle officers) after having waited a long time for the assignment. While I was happy for the Officer Papale to finally get his chosen assignment I was disappointed that he would be leaving his long time beat where he knows so many of you and had done such a magnificent job. But, with all dark clouds there is a silver lining. Officer Papale recently finished his motorcycle training and he was reassigned back to Northern Station as our newest traffic officer. I’m pleased to have Officer Papale back where he is so familiar and in a capacity where he can continue to serve the public’s needs. You may see Officer Papale riding his motorcycle on the Polk Street corridor and other locations and when you do, say hello to Phil and welcome him back to the Northern community. His addition to Northern Station fulfills a need for a traffic officer on the night watch and he will complement the traffic officer we currently have working on our day watch.
Violent crimes continue to be a topic of discussion amongst the community. I receive calls and emails from concerned citizens inquiring about a recent violent crime and how they are affecting the Northern District. My response is that, unfortunately, violent crime is up throughout the city, the Northern District included. While homicides and rapes are down significantly, robberies and aggravated assaults are up. The largest increase in violent crime is in street robberies.
Electronic devices are the preferred target of thieves and the majority of the victims are targeted when alone and often not in tuned with their surroundings. Many times, the victims are talking or texting on their phones while in public and are confronted by thieves before the victim is even aware that the thieves are around them. As a reminder, we ask that you not talk or text in public unless it’s absolutely necessary and when it is necessary, the conversation should be brief and in an area where you are not completely alone. Many people have gotten into the habit of telling friends via text that they will be in public for a short while and will be off their phone as a matter of safety. They then store their phone in a safe place and leave it there until it is safe to resume texting and talking.
On a positive note, while violent crimes are up in the city and the Northern District, Northern station has the lowest increase year to date in violent crimes of any District in the City. While I’m happy that we are the lowest, any increase in crime is too much and we will continue to be out in force in both uniform and plain clothes capacity to curtail as many violent crimes as possible. Here are the City Wide and Northern District statistics for crimes year to date.
Aggravated Assault +10%
Auto Theft -3%
Theft from Vehicles +36%
Other Theft +13%
Homicide +200% Three Homicides YTD versus One Homicide Last Year
Aggravated Assault +8%
Auto Theft +3%
Theft from Vehicles +77%
Other Theft +29%
NOTES OF INTEREST FOR SEPTEMBER 2013
The Line-Up is a crime prevention tool that allows the public to get involved through social media. The goal is to get the public involved in solving cold case files by watching and identifying video surveillance of suspects committing crimes. Contact information will be listed on the site and the public can be anonymous if they choose. The San Francisco Police Department will be releasing one video per week of suspect(s) involved in a criminal act.
Remember, you have the power to make a difference in our community. Be a crime fighter and help us in identifying these criminals. The weekly videos can be accessed at the sf-police.org website and by clicking on the “line-up” icon at the bottom of the first page.
San Francisco Police Foundation
The SFPD is involved in many types of community events, and actively participates in a variety of philanthropies. Groups are always asking the department for donations of money or to provide some level of involvement in their activities. We recently started the San Francisco Police Foundation to help with the funding of many of these requests. If you would like to donate to the Department’s philanthropic endeavors please make checks payable to the SF Police Foundation: Checks can be mailed directly to the following address: San Francisco Police Foundation, C/O Markun, Zusman, & Compton LLP. 465 California Street, SF, CA, 94104. With your help, the Foundation can, and will, make a difference for our City and in the lives of everyone touched by its police officers.
Note: The Northern Station Police Community Relations Forum is held the second Thursday of each month. The next meeting will be held Thursday October 10, 2013 at 6 pm at Northern Station’s Community Room.
**The officers of Northern Station work hard each and every day to keep the streets safe for everyone. They are making some excellent arrests. Here is a small snapshot of what they are doing. I encourage you to log on to the SFPD website and under ‘compstat’ you will find a link to ‘crime maps’ that will provide very timely crime information and a greater accounting.
Robbery W/ Force, Possession of Stolen Property Arrest, 9/1/13 1:10 Am 2000 Blk of Lombard St.
Officers responded to the above area regarding a call for service regarding a citizen holding a prisoner. Upon the officer’s arrival, they saw a male holding another male subject on the ground. The numerous witnesses told police that the subject had stolen a female victim’s cell phone. Officers took custody of the subject. Officers spoke to the male that grabbed the subject. He said that he was walking down the street when the subject ran past him. He heard a female yelling that her stuff was stolen. He ran after the male caught him and returned the phone. The male held onto the subject until the police arrived. The victim identified the subject and her phone. She said that she was on the sidewalk in front of a bar talking on her cell phone. She said the subject ran passed her and grabbed her phone. She tried to hold onto it, but the subject was too strong. He took the phone and ran. She said that she saw the other male grab the subject. The subject was booked on the above charges at Northern Station.
Stolen Vehicle, Methamphetamine, Driving with no License, Possession of Stolen Property, Possession of Burglary Tools Arrest, 9/4/13 11:15 Pm Grove/Polk
Uniformed officers were on patrol in the above area. They observed a vehicle that was parked the wrong direction on Grove St. They saw a male get into the car and quickly make a u-turn. Officers had the vehicle stopped before the car could flee. A computer check on the car returned stolen. The officers removed the occupants of the car and arrested them. The officers discovered a “shaved” key in the ignition and suspected “Meth” in the car. The subjects were booked at Northern Station. All evidence was processed in accordance to SFPD policy.
Malicious Mischief Breaking Windows, Resisting, Delaying, Obstructing Peace Officer in Their Duties, Under the Influence of Alcohol in a Public Place, 9/6/13 12:15 Am 1100 Blk of McAllister St.
Officers responded to the above area on a call for service of a possible shot fired. Upon their arrival, they searched for a crime scene with negative results. While in the area an intoxicated male approached the officers and challenged them to a fight. The belligerent drunk tried to provoke the officers by calling them every name in the book. The subject was not able to properly care for himself due to his intoxication level. The officers attempted to detain the male for a temporary four hour detention to sober up. The subject pulled away from officers and attempted to fight them. He was quickly handcuffed and transported to Northern Station. At Northern the officers performed a booking counter search and the subject continued to resist officers. The subject continued his out of control behavior, yelling and profanities. The subject was placed in the sobering cell at Northern Station. He kicked the cell glass breaking it, no injuries. The officers documented this and transported him to county jail. The cell was out of commission for the night. He was now also charged with felony vandalism.
Hot Prowl Burglary, Probation Violation, False Id to Police Ofc, 9/6/13 2:15 Am Unit Blk of Culebra Terrace
Officers met with the victim who told them the following. The victim was asleep in his room when he heard some commotion from his slightly opened window. The victim saw the subject’s hands attempting to raise the window and gain entry to the apartment. The male was 90% inside when the victim said that he was calling the police. The subject fled. The victim was able to get a good look at the subject prior to his flight. The officers put out the subject’s description and direction of travel. Shortly thereafter the subject was detained. The victim was sure that the officers had the correct person detained. He was booked at Northern Station.
Recovered Stolen Auto, Multiple Warrant Arrest, 9/9/13 2:33 Pm Ash/Gough
Dispatch sent officer to the above area regarding a homeless complaint. Upon the officer’s arrival, they saw a Mercedes with no front plate, with two male subjects inside. The officers approached the subjects, they were sleeping. The officers spoke with the subjects, who said that they don’t know who owns the car; they were just sleeping in it. Officers ran a computer check on the males and the vehicle. The vehicle returned stolen. The males attempted to conceal their identities, but the officers discovered who they were. Both subjects had multiple warrants for their arrest. Officers attempted to contact the vehicle’s owner which met with negative results. The officers had to tow the car. Officers booked the males at Northern Station.
Terrorist Threats, Exhibiting a Deadly Weapon, 9/12/13 12:53 Am 1100 Blk of Polk St.
Dispatch sent officers to the above location regarding a male subject brandishing a knife. Dispatch advised the officers that the subject appeared “very agitated”. The subject ran off while still holding the knife. Officers were able to stop and detain the subject without incident. The subject appeared intoxicated and told officers that he “has two guns on him”. A search of the male revealed no firearms. Officers secured the male in their patrol car and interviewed the witnesses. The bartender noticed the subject at approx, 12:53 Am. The subject was falling asleep at the bar and he was asked to leave. The subject refused and a verbal altercation started. The subject got angry and shoved the bartender hard with both hands. The subject then pulled out a folding knife from his pocket and began to shout derogatory statements and wave the knife at the bartender. The subject advanced on the bartender and said, “I’m going to kill you”. Just then, a Northern Station officer arrived on scene and the subject fled. The arresting officers booked him at Northern Station.
Possessing Counterfeit Currency, Warrant Arrest, 9/13/13 4:00 Pm Union/Laguna
Officers received a call for service regarding a female subject purchasing clothing with counterfeit money. As officers arrived, the store employee pointed at the female subject and said, “She just used fake money in my store, look”. The officer observed the bill, and also knew it was a fake. Officers detained the subject who spontaneously stated, “I knew this was going to happen”. The officers were able to back track where the female had used numerous fake bills in the area. A computer check revealed an outstanding warrant out of San Bernadino County. The officer contacted and reported this incident to the Secret Service. The subject was booked at county jail.
Burglary, Other Building, Warrant Arrest, 9/13/13 9:20 Pm Eddy/Laguna
Several days earlier there had been a commercial burglary at a restaurant. Northern S.I.T. team investigators were able to pull the video evidence, view it, and recognize the subject. They put out a warrant for the subject’s arrest. Northern Station plain clothes officers spotted the subject and quickly had him in custody. He was booked at Northern Station.
Possession of Prohibited Weapon, Warrant Arrest, 9/14/13 11:14 Am 500 Blk of Hickory St.
Officers were called to the area regarding a male subject walking around, holding and swinging a sword. The caller appeared very nervous and scared of the subject. Officers located the subject and approached him with their department issued less lethal bean bag shotgun, along with an officer with their service weapon as lethal cover. The officers ordered the male to the ground and detained him without further incident. They ran a computer check on the male and discovered several outstanding warrants for his arrest. The subject was booked at Northern Station.