tv [untitled] April 20, 2011 5:30pm-6:00pm PDT
to order. please turn off any cell phones or pagers. would you please stand for the pledge of allegiance. taking of roll call commissioners. >> present. >> commission vice president dr. joe marshall. >> in route. >> commissioner dejesus. >> present. >> commissioner james hammer. >> in route. >> commissioner angela chan. excused. commissioner kingsley. >> present. >> commissioner slaughter. >> present.
>> we have the assistant chief thromace sawyer. >> thank you very much. ladies and gentlemen welcome to the wednesday, april 20th, 2011 commission meeting. we have an issue that we are going to move to the head of the line, item five. we have a large crowd to discuss the patrol specials and the recommendation of the pssg report. we will call that as the first item this evening. line item 1, the consent calendar. >> the police commission report of disciplinary action from the first quarter, 2011. >> any questions? hearing none, do i have any public comment regarding the consent calendar? hearing none do i have a
motion. >> motion. >> second? all in favor. let's call line item number 5 now. >> discussion regarding the pssg group recommendations and the patrol special officers association's response. >> thank you lieutenant. before we move on with our lieutenants present, i want to give the audience a briefing about where we are at today and why we are here today to discuss the patrol special. patrol specials are a unique organization we have had here in san francisco since the gold rush days. the patrol special officers are private security officers. they are not peace officers or police officers. they purchase several blocks and it provides additional security for the merchants and the residents there. the patrol special officers
where a very, very very similar uniform to the san francisco police department. until recently they were almost identical but for the patch. instead of being gold it was silver. otherwise they wear the same uniform. patrol special officers are monitored by the san francisco police department and the san francisco police commission. we handle all matters involving the patrol specials. police department does their background checks. now since we had changes and we revamped the temporary rolls, the police department are providing them with training. they do not work for the city and county of san francisco. they are private contractors. a private enterprise. they collect and charge merchants for their services where the police department
does not. and they operate as they purchase these beats. one of the issues we are going to discuss tonight are liability. they carry their own insurance. but the concern out there is they look like san francisco police officers, they are operating under the direction of the san francisco police department and they use the san francisco police radio. if they were ever sued, liability would be breeched and the city probably would be responsible. i know that makes the city attorney uncomfortable but that is probably a relevant fact. the patrol specials and their governance have gotten a little bit out of control. this started for quite a while where the issues presented are that we are not seeing what patrol specials were charging their clients. we didn't know much about there training and experience. and several of the patrol specials have made everything
from misrepresentations to the police commission and the police department regarding particular individuals they are go to hire and other issues that popped up. they are wearing the same uniform. there is confusion in the community are they police officers or patrol specials. there have been a lot of changes throughout the years in the ability and authority of the patrol specials. they have red and blue lights in their cars. they are not police officers. they are not allowed to have red and blue lights in their cars. they have the same arrest authority of anyone in this room, which would be a citizen's arrest. there was not a lot of compliance. and there was a lot of concern. this commission made it a priority for the last two years to get to the bottom of this. one breath they would say we are part of the sfpd and in the
next breath they would say we are private. we asked for the pssg to review the patrol specials and give us a recommendation. what do they think about this unique, only in san francisco scenario. many have told us patrol specials do great things. and they do. there are some people they really love having around. and some patrol special officers are credible. when i was a young man, they did great police work and helped a lot of people out. jane warner was an incredible woman. in her honor is one of the reasons we asked for this. our goal tonight is to get a response to the pssg report, which i will read their recommendations. tonight is our turn to hear from the community. during the process we asked they change their uniform to a
certain extent. so that they can be distinguished from the san francisco police department. compliance has been shoty at best. our concern is compliance. quite frankly i have to tell you i have seen a patrol special officer not once but twice in the wrong uniform. not a good thing for a police commissioner to see when this is being debated. i think i want to send out a theme. the theme is compliance. we haven't had compliance throughout the years. we don't even know how many patrol special officers there were. we didn't know who is running the beats. many of the beats have been abandoned. we need to get our hands around it for the safety of the community, for the complaints of the patrol specials. we want to increase the training for the patrol specials so they don't create
officer concerns for our officers. we asked for a report and to interview folks. i will read to you the response to what they have said in the pssg report. this is from the controller's office. patrol specials and their activities are private in nature. patrol specials have a unique benefit not available to other security guards. patrol specials place a financial burden on the city. the similar appearance of patrol specials to the sfpd causes confusion. the police commission has legal oversight but not over their day-to-day operations. patrol specials routinely violate the regulatory rules and the procedures set up by the police commission. a lot what you see and hear, their recommendation is as follows. they recommend that the city
charter be changed and patrol specials be eliminated. and that would require a charter amendment. nothing this police commission can do this evening. but i think that they provide us with a good service. we need all of the police protection we can. our concern are compliance and will they play by the rule and increase their level of training and compliance, showing us the record of their complaints to make sure people are not being charged. some people said it is odd i am paying for police protection. that does not sound right. we can't have it both ways where you are issuing business cards with your business address as a san francisco police station where you access confidential records on computers when you are not a peace officer. we really want to hear from the community and those patrol specials who work hard to keep our cities safe. there are examples where
playoffs, my own niece worked at a shopping center and they walked her to her car not knowing who she was. that is where we are and how to get to where we are. this has been a long debate. we need to get to the bottom of this. so, before we proceed with the opposition presentation i have two lieutenants who managed a patrol specials who will give us an update on how they are doing. >> thank you commissioners, chief, citizens, fellow officers. i am the patrol special police officer liaison. i work with my associate, robert, who has institutional knowledge.
i asked him to be here tonight so he can answer any questions. i assumed command in november of last year as the assistant patrol, as patrol special coordinator. there are currently 18 assistant patrol specials on the books, nine beat owners with 24 active beats. currently the patrol specials have recently completed the range qualification where out of 27, four of them were no-shows, one was excused, three were unexcused. frankly i have gone out of my way to try to help them and extend any timelines that they have had as of thursday i will send out notices that they are in violation with no explanation. i will have to forward that explanation to management control. they also were advised at that time that they were in october
to have a level 2 holter that i have brought with me today. given the fact that they are working around bars and restaurants, they are required and as a result of the recommendations that were established by the range master that we were going to have them use the level 2 holster. unfortunately we had much debate and discussion. approximately 10 of those people that showed up to the range were out of compliance with the level 2 holster. given the state of all that happened, bending over backwards to help them, i extended the requirement time frame to be the end of may 30th as being the cut off date for compliance. most recently approved is the 18 hours of training that the police range -- strike that.
that the police academy will provide to them that has been approved by the assistant chief. it has been forwarded over to another division of the police department. also the police commission secretary advised me that they have received out of all of the 24 active beats, five client lists on file with the police department. and i would like to say that we have continued to work out of the intern police commission rules established for the police commission. and on a personal note i will say that i have met many of the patrol special officers. i know many of them. they have been extremely professional with me and courteous. if there is anything that i can say in my position that has caused frustration for me it is the diligence in getting the
paperwork back. they are required to supply a certain period of time with their updated insurances for both workers' comp, liability insurance and their employee list. some of them have been less than diligent. i have to chase after them to get that information. i have received telephone calls asking for extensions. i have been bending over backwards to show that we are being responsive to their needs. >> lieutenant, how many patrol special officers do we have that are active in san francisco today? >> i show 27 patrol officers. 18 assistants and 19 patrol special beat owners. >> how many total do we have? >> 27.
>> first of all, good to see you lieutenant. the last time we saw you is when you got the gold medal of valor. i want to honor you for your service. i have specific questions folks have asked me to ask. i will save most of my comments until the patrol specials have spoken. one of the concerns or complaints they heard are that people have a difficulty with the police department, that the perception is that in every way they can try to undermine them. that is the perception from some. i am not saying it is true. another specific concern when people apply to be patrol specials that their applications are put in a circular file and don't get back. can you talk to us about what happens when someone applies, what is the turnaround time for that application. how many applications are pending. that sort of thing. >> i was trained and it is my
interpretation and knowledge that there is a checklist established by the police commission. those pieces of paper and forms have to be submitted with the application. so it is the beat owner, assistant patrol special has to be diligent in their submission of paperwork. i have seen very few applications come through. but i assure you like any other paperwork in the police department we are diligent in contending with those pieces of correspondence. what happens if an application comes through if it does not have the points that are necessary, i will correspond or we will correspond in writing and submit the packet back asking them to resubmit everything when it gets done. at that time that information is prepared and then sent to the background investigations department.
that is a division of the administration bureau. i can't speak about what they do. i know they are an entity that does the background for civilians and employees for patrol special officers, for lateral police officers and for any police officer. in essence i wait for them to come back and let us know what transpires. i want to assure you that i recall that there are two packets as we speak now that are at the background investigations unit for their diligence and for their response. >> how long has it been there lieutenant? >> i am not sure how long that is. >> do we have a projected turnaround time that when someone submits their application that we process it and give them a yea or a nay? >> that was really hard to put
together. a lot of the patrol officers do not have secretaries or staff. sometimes it is the wife or girlfriend that are putting the packets together. it depends on the efficiency of that packet and what is in there and if it goes back and forth. if it is ok it goes to the background and i fall victim to the background unit. >> we don't know the turnaround time of the background unit. >> i don't know. you have to add this to it, too. if the individual is a local individual is it easier to do the background stuff? yes. if it is somebody out of state or in southern california or way up in northern california, that causes a problem for the background investigator to visit those places to do the things that they do. >> we can address real concerns out there, do you have any master list to show? when they applied and what stage of the application process they are in?
>> i do have in my office two packets submitted to me. >> that means there are only two applications pending right now. >> two applications pending. >> that's it? >> i will defer to my associate, robert again, he was promoted in november. but i believe that those are the only two that we have. >> is that correct, lieutenant? >> yes. >> total of two. are those in your office or down in background checks right now? >> they are in background. >> and again just because one of the gentleman is here who is a member of the community reached out. mr. gray has said he tried to reach the folks and does not hear back. >> good evening commissioners. i was the patrol special liaison up until last year. i came with the lieutenant in case any historical data needed