tv [untitled] April 24, 2011 1:30pm-2:00pm PDT
telling people. i will not accept applications unless this is met. this is, number one, to protect the citizens of san francisco a lot more because they will have training. when i first went through this, all that was required was the 832, basically 40 hours, a college course. i put myself through levels a, b and c and have kept up with all of the training. if you added up all of the training that i had it would be way above level 3. to make this a viable organization, this is what we need. and one other thing you need to take into account, the finances of the city. you have 40 police officers that if you discount the pssg program and look at the police
website, costs the city next to nothing. we realize the numbers that you are going to take from here and say this is how much it costs. if we had 40 more officers, assistants, you would get 40 officers for free for the city. hard to tell the citizens that we are getting rid of 40 officers. the city shortfall this year is $308 million. next year 460, next year 680. board of supervisors talked about dropping the drop program. if they do that you will lose approximately a quarter to a third of the police department.
the rules and regulations need to be looked at and they need to be redone. i offered to sit down with the police department to make it work. >> i am confused again. you said there are 40 patrol special officers when we heard there were 47. if you add up the numbers we have, we have officers not working that have not been heard from. i would like to say 40 officers because we are still in contact with some of them but the numbers will be between 27 and 40. >> that is one of the things that we need to correct. any other place of employment they would know who is working and employed, not a number between 40 and 27. what do you charge a typical merchant on your beat for a month's of service. >> i have one client that i charge $25. >> how about other clients? >> it would depend on what they want me to do. i respond to their calls, i
drive by and patrol their place to see if anything is going on out front and i charge them $300 per month. >> commissioners, any questions? >> you know, i want to make a statement. i understand you are doing your presentation. i read your report. i read the report. and i understand that you guys talk about, you know, raising liability insurance. i think that is one of the concerns that the city has. this thing about level 3, that is something we can talk about. the thing that your clients, that the identification of your clients and their fees. correct me if i am wrong, the way it is right now there is no confidentiality. if you turn it over, you are just turning it over. there is no protection that
others can access that. that is my understanding. i don't know if that is your understanding. >> that is correct. there is no way that can stay confidential. we have been looking for ways to keep it confidential so at least that we could prove to you that we are not overcharging. >> that is one of my concerns. if we talk about where we decide to go, we have to talk about the customer list and the fees. you know, those certainly are an asset. it is a recognized asset for the business and in some cases confidential. so i think that is something we should talk about and what protection we will give to these individuals who are running a business and are a valuable asset we are asking them to expose. i think that is something that we need to talk about as well.
>> maybe with our personnel files being confidential, why not find a way to take our client list and integrate it into the personnel file so only certain people have access to them and the general public or anybody walking by the file cabinet does not. >> that is a concern. i think it is a legitimate and valid concern. >> i agree. that is a great idea. we are concerned if you have anything from the san francisco police department you have to be transparent. somebody has to monitor to make sure that there is uniformity in fees and that there are not high fees being charged in some areas of the city. that is a good idea. >> commissioners, we met with you. we met a couple of times. we were blunt with you. we said here are what they are saying. can you step up to them.
some of them are fiscal concerns. it is costing the city a lot of money to have extra protection for some citizens. can you make it more cost neutral for the city. we talked about training. what can patrol specials do to address the cost of that. i am sensitive to that. i think that it is important that we have oversight in that the charter gives you a monopoly and you can't have an unregulated monopoly. we brought up training. when we get to the end of tonight in terms of where i am coming from, i don't think anybody should have a san francisco police patch and a gun unless they have a very high level of training. one thing we talked about is at least level three training. i think we owe it to the
citizens of san francisco. and finally, and you broke into that, i think. and the rules need to be up indicated. you sound open to that as well. how do you address the concerns out there. and they are real concerns. >> when you say monopoly, basically i think we are a third choice. citizens in this city can either hire private security. they can hire off duty officers or they can hire the patrol specials. >> you offer something more. i have seen you folks on the street. i knew jane warner. that is where i come from. before i was a commissioner, i was just a citizen of san francisco. i think you provide a valuable, policing service to a lot of folks. i strongly support them. but we made it clear that i think you need to and have
started to address the real concerns people have so we can keep you going. that is why we are here tonight. i am speaking in the memory of jane warner. >> just for the record we are letting patrol special officer myers speak more than three minutes obviously because he is the representative and this is their main presentation. commissioner kingsley. >> i would like more clarification on the business and payroll tax. i didn't get the point on that if you would go back to that, please. >> the city and county of san francisco requires to all security officers be licensed in the city to pay a payroll tax and a business tax. they need a business license. from what i understand the business license is just $50. but the gross payroll tax, i think it 1.2%.
there are many security companies doing business that do not pay this tax from our calculations, the loss to the city is anywhere from $10 million to $15 million. >> as a patrol specials do pay the taxes. >> payroll tax or a city tax because we are enshrined in the city charter. this was the original intent from the 190's when we were first put in the city charter, 1936. >> thank you. >> one of the concerns in the report relates to liability. and you mentioned it in your presentation that you asked patrol specials to increase their insurance. couple of questions. one, the fact that they are required to carry liability and workers' comp.
is that right? >> correct. as employees they do carry workers' comp. >> and they have liability, correct. >> correct. >> the city is named as know an insured on those policies? >> correct. >> there is obviously a way we can confirm the city is named as an insured on those policies. >> this is the information that we have until february 28th to turn in our insurance and car records. we also have $1 million policies on the insurance that we use. >> knowing we had an issue with potential liability to the city, you asked folks to raise it to $2 million. have you heard anything that they actually have? do we know for each of the 27 patrol specials or whatever it is, do we know precisely how much insurance they are
carrying right now? and if you did not have an increase to the levels committed to in your papers that were submitted, why has it it been that we haven't seen the liability insurance increased? >> i have talked to probably four of the beat owners. and they have increased it to $2 million. there are several beat owners who have more than that. >> that does not answer the question. do we know how much each has. right now we don't. >> as of what was turned in from february, no. they have not received the updates. >> it is an absolute necessity. if we don't know the
information and we can't come in a public meeting like this when we have this report that recommends terminating your program. we would have to do a charter amendment. i understand that if the program continues we will have to change some of the rules. but the idea that it has been since august and you can't come here and tell this commission what the status is is striking to me and a huge concern that demonstrates to me some of the lack of oversight, lack of knowledge about what is going on out there. when you have a uniform that is identical. a member of the public won't know the difference. they won't know the difference. if we don't know what is going on, you know, i don't see how we can just blindly say yes, you are a great thing.
we have obligations here. and at this rate it is disturb to me. and the idea we haven't seen action since last august is surprising. >> as of february is when the lieutenant requested all of this information be given. >> last august there was a report produced that said we should terminate this program. and liability is just one issue. there was an easy way you identified to address that issue. as far as i can tell you have not done it. some have. some haven't. some might have more. we don't know. the we don't know is a huge problem. it is a massive problem. we can't have we don't knows as the oversight body. and not coming in here with specifics is a problem for me.
it is obviously not on here. there is nothing we can do to vote. but you are not demonstrating the professionalism that we need to see from an organization that is sanctioned by the city. you know, again i go back to it. you have a uniform. you look like a cop. the public thinks you are cops. if that is the case we have to treat you like it. it is a problem. >> most of the general public cannot tell the difference. i agree with that. however there is a large criminal element out there that we deal with. they know the difference. we have had several officers get in altercations so far because of that. it is something that we have to deal with. and again, bringing up the insurance. it is something we have to deal with. we talked about raising the insurance up to $10 million. however when i called and got
several quotes it ranged between $25,000 all the way up to $80,000 for one year which would make it cost prohibitive and could even be seen as punitive damages against us. >> you can see the other side of the ledger there, the idea that to protect the city against potential liability to the city from actions taken by the patrol specialist. that is the purpose. if it is cost prohibitive, it is. i don't have an opinion right now on what the right level of liability insurance is but the report believes that the level we have now is inadequate. and, you know, to come in here and say here is a way to address it. having had six or more months and not being able to say yes, we have addressed this very significant and important and specific issue that was raised in the report is troublesome to me. there are a lot of people that want to present.
i will save more comments for later. >> this is along the lines of what the chair laid out. i know what i am looking for in this discussion. it is sort of reaction to what brought us here and what brought us here originally. the report laid out some strong certains ending in the recommendation that the program no longer exist. when the president laid out the parameters for him it is the same for me. there were five areas they talked about. i am hoping the speakers address those areas as they come to the podium. i know that is what i will be looking for. individual commissioners may have questions. that is their right. they want that information. i know for me what brought us
here is this document. what i am looking for or how you addressed the issues and i hope i hear that as we move forward. thank you. >> commissioner. >> right. i want to the say, and i commission your concerns, however my understanding was that you would address the concerns that they raised. you met with some of us and you suggested ways that we can work with us. and i thought it was more of a working meeting so we can come together and change the rules so that they would reflect some of the changes that would reflect the concerns that both sides agreed to make changes and we would change the rules. that is what i thought we were doing. i don't know if you needed to come here and be signed, sealed and delivered. i thought you were willing to do that. the question is what is the right number. you know, what is feasible in terms of economics and maybe changing the rules and making
it a requirement. the training, that goes to the training. that goes to the uniforms. that goes to the monthly reports. of course they goes to the customer list giving you protection before they have to turn it over. that is my understanding of what we were going to do and revise the rules to address a lot of the concerns. >> well, one of the things that you can save cost on this, i get approximately three calls every night from my clients. if i was not responding they would be calling sfpd. that is savings just alone. i work seven nights a week, 365 days per year. so, if you times those three calls per night over the year, this is how much money i save the city. if i wasn't there doing these calls, then regular p.d. would have to respond. most of them are c priority calls, once in a while it is a
b-priority call. just being there and doing this, i think the patrol specials actually pay for the program themselves by saving the city money. we should look at the way we save the city money. >> thank you. i want to respond to one thing. if your clients are calling you instead of the san francisco police department, i am concerned that they should call the police department as opposed to the patrols and. >> i wanted to thank the commander for his comment and echo it. in my experience these officers behave competently and they are also professional in their
demeanor in the way they approach caring for me in my community of glen park. i would like to answer several of the commissioners specific concerns. >> to the commissioners, i concur that it is important for you to take the care that you are. i appreciate if they are spending time to look into detail had asked for opinions on these matters. we want you to continue to regulate because officers. i want higher training standards entire application standards when new officers come into force. for the cost, i would like to address several comments. the cost for you to oversee the program announced to 0.06% of the police department budget.
the cost to regulate this program, for you to oversee its is 0.06%. that is a pittance for us to take to regulate this very valuable program. please consider that they take care of disturbances early. the officers don't respond to 911 calls. he comes if he is the back of the police department with what the officers respond to, disturbances. it lead to serious crimes. we don't have to call the police, and we save taxpayer money when we and the local disturbance. finally, i would like to point to the cincinnati and north carolina programs that were mentioned in the boston report. they do not review the fees. they did not bother to reveal the fees. i talk to their police department and the commander
that operates the largest of the police organizations. he confirmed there is no regulation requiring them to turn over fees, but client lists. i called the department of justice, a gentleman that regulates the state's program. the 700 officers and statewide. i really hope to be of help to you as you sit down and work in more detail on proposed regulations. i hope you continue to support the program. >> and the evening, commissioners. and the executive director for the upper market community benefit district. i am here tonight to explain to you how we use of the patrol special officers.
they have hired control specialists. they pull money from different merchants to support one or two or whatever numbers of officers. we have asked our officers to patrol the public spaces that are not private property or merchant property. their responsibility is to take care of patrols late at night where there have been lots of complaints about noise. in the plaza at seventeenth and castro, there is a public restroom that is notorious for drug use. that is on market street in front of safeway. that is where they patrol. they walked through those places several times a night. they go down to the bathroom, making sure and that there is only one person in there and
they're not there for two or three hours. that is how they have been using the patrol specialists to support the officer. they have pleased the neighborhood, we are able to negotiate with them so that we can stay out to the neighborhood later. we have an increase in issue with people getting very inebriated. we need a patrol later at night. we are pleased that they are able to negotiate with us on our level that there wasn't really a lot of extra money. they are out sunday through wednesday, after the bars close. this is really helped the city because there is the huge issue of the city parking lot on
castro street. there is no paid person to monitor that lot. they called several times that night with complaints about noise. we have been asked to work out a solution where using patrol special to put up a barricade, the lot is closed at 1:00. the was only possible with the hours in the neighborhood. realizing they needed this, they were able to negotiate with us. that has been helpful. after several months of doing this with control specialists, i don't get any more calls or e- mail. i know my time is up. >> i have been here before.
i am sure you know who i am. i think it is very important for the city and for the commission to get a sense of what the public feels. i am actually a specialist both in the castro where i volunteer and also at the beach where i worked and where i live. i believe the questions before the commission, the first is the value that they represent, the value of the report you are considering right now have what liabilities both of those represent. howell begin with a report. i did send an e-mail to you with a lot of points. i hope you have the chance to look at it and consider it. i believe there is a lot of misinterpretation. i think it is very easy to be misled when you think about the
report. they suggest not just taking it as a fairly accurate report, but cross checking it to make sure that everything that is written you can independently verify. i personally don't believe it to be fully accurate. there have been the number of documents and females on the number of the items line by line. i would suggest to take a second look in meet with other members of the public to you can get a frank and open discussion rather than this very short format. they really have been in business since 1847. it is paid for by the citizens out of their own pocket. there is no compulsion for anyone. they can choose security or to not have anyone. they continue to choose them when this commission took away the powers.
they are actually increasing their use. if you are looking at public safety, you have to look at what the public is actually doing. they are using them right now. there is a gap with what the police department is able to manage and what the citizens need. frequently, a priority call will be responded to within three minutes or three hours. normally, it is the latter of the two. or you have a homeless one going through garbage, a three-hour response is not worth it. it does not make any sense. they're paying extra money to have a response that is beneficial to the neighborhood. the number of people who have worked with, and have a private security already. they provide a service.
>> i just got done listening to this gentleman who talked about how all these things are being paid for by the public. and a lot of the problems are alcohol and homelessness. it seems to me that money can be spent to take care of the homeless. the first they would listen to when being asked about the uniforms, and about how they are so similar, they knowledge everybody here that they are very similar, but that the so- called criminals know the difference. what he is saying is that they are actually impersonating san francisco police department officers for a show rather than effect.
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