By Bonnee Waldstein, Glen Park News
At the town hall meeting of the Glen Park Association on Jan. 13, Captain David Lazar, commander of the Ingleside District, delivered a positive report on the crime situation in Glen Park. Several folks, with the concurrence of everyone else, expressed their appreciation for the enthusiasm and efforts of Capt. Lazar and his force in keeping the crime rate down over the past year. Matthew Leong and Amanda Kabanuck, our local beat officers, were also lauded for their accomplishments in keeping Glen Park safe.
Captain Lazar listed several highlights of new programs and initiatives:
. San Francisco has a new police chief, George Gascon, who has decentralized investigations of robberies, burglaries, auto thefts, and assaults. These crimes are handled at the station level, rather than the Hall of Justice, and are parceled out among seven sergeants who act as liaisons to community groups.
. Bicycle officers now patrol Chenery Street and the Lower Mission, every day during the day.
. Comstat . This isn’t a Sputnik-like contraption but rather a system of computer-generated statistics which helps police connect the dots, predict possible incidents, and hold those accountable for follow-up and results. It was originated in New York City by Chief William Bratton and used by the NYPD’s 71 police captains. Each month five stations will present their stats; and the next month, the five other stations. The program is open to the public and the next presentation will be at the Scottish Rite Temple at 19th Ave. and Sloat at 10:00 a.m.
. Communication within the Ingleside station. Captain Lazar has begun to produce a “Daily Mission” to the force which is basically, “Here’s what to look for today,” be it gang activity, burglaries on Teresita, graffiti, tire slashing, auto theft or other crime du jour.
. Duh!? — Thanks to our new Chief Gascon, a 21st century forensic technique is now being used for the first time to catch auto thieves and burglars. It’s called “dusting for fingerprints.” San Francisco, ever on the cutting edge of CSI, is now using trained officers to employ this method routinely to catch the perps.
. Nighttime Park Unit — An experimental program in which two officers will be patrolling the many parks in the district from 4 pm till 2 am.
. Disturbing incident — for the second time in six weeks, swastikas and other hateful graffiti were painted onto the Glen Park Recreation Center. A special investigation division is handling this and it is being taken very seriously. If it continues, a surveillance unit will be set up to catch those responsible.
Administrative issue — With the roiling financial threats in the City, can the present level of enforcement be sustained? With 89% of the police budget going to salaries, Capt. Lazar says Chief Gascon is being creative with the budget regarding staffing and overtime. The Ingleside, which is the second largest district in the City, has 125 officers and Capt. Lazar says he’s maintaining a good staffing level.
The Police Department is changing and evolving, notes the Captain. Finger pointing among the District Attorney, probation, and police are abating. A new page is turning in San Francisco law enforcement.
Photo: Michael Waldstein