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Monday, May 17, 2010

Castro Park May Be Named In Honor of Departed Cop Jane Warner

Posted By on Mon, May 17, 2010 at 2:59 PM

'Officer Jane,' Jane Warner
  • 'Officer Jane,' Jane Warner
Supervisor and mayoral candidate Bevan Dufty plans to introduce a resolution Tuesday to name the recently created mini-park at Castro and 17th Streets in honor of Jane Warner, a longtime city security officer who died May 8. It would become Jane Warner Plaza if Dufty's resolution were to pass.

Warner for 20 years had worked the Castro neighborhood as part of a little-known security force that has been enshrined in the City Charter since the Gold Rush. Known as the San Francisco Patrol Special Police -- or "specials," for short -- they are uniquely allowed to claim neighborhood territories, or beats, where they can charge clients for security services.

During Warner's 20 years as a for-hire police officer in the Castro,

she became known as the beat cop with a firm yet gentle touch. And since her death at age 53 following a bout with cancer, mourners have contributed to an ad-hoc shrine at Hibernia Beach, the popular name given the wide stretch of sidewalk in front of Bank of America at 18th and Castro.

"She is the epitome of community policing," Dufty said. "Everyone knew her as Officer Jane. She was ever-present."

Warner had spent her final years battling the San Francisco Police Department. She clashed with the SFPD, which sought to reign in Patrol Special officers, who compete with off-duty SFPD officers for private security work.

As president of the San Francisco Patrol Special Police Association, Warner lobbied supervisors and Police Commissioners to re-instate rules allowing Patrol Special officers to book arrests. Her friends and attorneys believe police retaliated against her by filing nuisance charges against her such as jaywalking, in hopes of getting her permit to act as a Patrol Special officer revoked.

For a thorough recounting of Warner and her battles with the SFPD, check out my column in the next edition of SF Weekly.

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Matt Smith


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