The holiday season is rapidly coming upon us and, as a result, we in the community must prepare ourselves.
Halloween will dictate our awareness of children being outside in the evening hours, trick or treating in costumes while walking around the Sunset District. We must make certain our kids are safe while they are out at night by having a guardian or parent accompany the kids to and from events and while being safety conscious while walking in and out of traffic.
If you’re operating motor vehicles, maintain a keen eye on the streets for kids running into traffic. It would be wise to drive a bit slower during the holidays! If you have any questions about the safety of candy, call the police department’s Halloween Candy Hotline at (800) 433-1200.
With Thanksgiving and Christmas just around the corner, it is essential to maintain our sobriety and avoid opportunities for crime by being alert. Keep personal possessions in pockets (cash, credit and identification cards, etc), not in purses or where they are visible to others.
Gifts and packages should be placed in areas of your vehicle that are not visible to public view. Shopping or attending events with one or two additional people would be wise, for the purpose of designated drivers and being safe in numbers.
The current total of traffic citations issued year-to-date is 4,800-plus. In October, through Oct. 26, there were 87 arrests made (58 felonies and 29 misdemeanors).
The SF Department of Parking and Traffic says it will begin using “speed display trailers” at the intersections of Ninth Avenue and Junipero Serra Boulevard and Irving Street and 19th Avenue in early November. The trailers will display the speeds of passing vehicles as well as giving the posted speed limit. The trailers will be used as a traffic-calming measure. It is part of a traffic education program being sponsored by supervisors Fiona Ma and Sean Elsbernd, working with Assemblyman Leland Yee.
A string of armed robberies in the district have had similar patterns. The suspect, who wears dark clothes and brandishes a handgun in the crimes, is a black male between 20 and 30 years old, weighing from 140 pounds to 165 pounds, and standing between five-foot-six-inches and five-foot-nine-inches tall.
The suspect approaches the victim from behind, usually when the victim is exiting his or her vehicle, and demands the victim’s property. The suspect then flees on foot.
A second individual committing armed robberies in the district has been described as a black male, between 30 and 40 years old, weighing from 180 pounds to 230 pounds, and standing between six-foot and six-foot-two-inches tall. He also wears dark clothing and carries a dark-colored handgun. All of the victims have been alone when the crimes occurred.
Our patrol unit, plainclothes team and the robbery unit are actively searching for these criminals. Attempt to travel with friends or family when you’re outside your homes. If you have any information, please notify the SF Police Department.
The concerns of trash and homeless issues throughout the district have brought city departments together to attempt to resolve the problems. Specifically, the area around Lake Merced was brought to our attention because there has been the illegal dumping of trash and construction materials all around the lake, as well as safety concerns. Various city departments are working with Taraval Police Station personnel to clean up the lake and make it more secure.
The current situation at at the fraternity house located at 1226 36th Ave. is still a focal point for the city attorney’s office and the police department. We’re working with the landlord for a long-term resolution.
Working with the members of the OMI Merchants Association and the OMI-Neighbors in Action organizations, we have been fortunate to get the Ocean Avenue beat officer back as of late October. Officer J. Drilon is the new beat officer, who will be on foot and bicycle patrol in the area working with the merchants and the community to resolve concerns. Drilon has been actively involved in graffiti abatement. He’ll be a vital resource for the community.
At the Taraval Police Community Relations Forum on Oct. 19, we were honored to have both Assemblyman Yee and Supervisor Ma in attendance. Yee and Ma presented awards of recognition to L. Walden and J. Reilly for their commitment to the City by helping to keep our Sunset District crime free, safe and clean. Walden and Reilly also received commendations from Chief of Police Heather Fong for their excellent work.
The recent first annual LaPlaya Block Party held Oct. 23 was a success, with some 150 – 200 attendees. Free BBQ, drinks, candy, balloons, music, a kid’s jumping castle and a pumpkin patch were frequented by all. The rain did not halt the festivities as Ma dedicated the LaPlaya Mini Park to Pat and Buffy MaGuire and Sev Sarkissian, from Yee’s office, presented a certificate of recognition.
We look forward to the second annual LaPlaya Festival next October, in celebration of the community’s ability to change the district to a safe, clean and family-oriented neighborhood.
The Police Community Relations Forum Meeting will be held at the Taraval Police Station, located at 2345 24th Ave., on Nov. 16, at 7 p.m.
Capt. Keith Sanford is the commanding officer at the Taraval Police Station.