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SF Weekly Letters For May 26 - June 1, 2016 


Response to latest fatal police shooting: The SFPD-CIT Mental Health Working Group, the group that trains SFPD officers in crisis de-escalation, had a meeting scheduled with former police Chief Greg Suhr, a meeting now postponed ("Police Shoot, Kill Female Auto Theft Suspect in Bayview," Chris Roberts, The Snitch, 5/19/16). We planned to talk about how to improve their Crisis Intervention Teams. We even planned to propose the creation of a critical incidents review group, to enable review of critical incidents involving mental health crisis encounters and learn from them to create better responses and tactics. CIT is a work in progress. We aspire to much but only partially deliver on our promise. Incidents like the tragic shooting set us back. Every month, there are, on average, 360 SFPD responses to people suffering mental health crises. That is more than 4,000 per year. These yearly 4,000-plus "5150" mental health detentions occur without anybody getting hurt or even incurring a criminal case. While even one death is one too many, it is still an extremely rare occurrence given the thousands of people in crisis who are transported each year, transported involuntarily, to psychiatric services, and transported without harm. This tragedy is truly a setback in many ways — for the victim, her family and friends, for the community, for community–police relations, for our CIT training program and for the city as a whole. We have much work ahead. David Elliott Lewis

Let the bad times poll: Excellent calling out of Jim Wunderman and his Bay Area Council ("The Business of Our Discontent," Arno Rosenfeld, 5/19/16). Should be more obvious by the day, these people have the goal of regionalized government for the Bay Area, and even hope to include Sacramento into their Mega-Region. Cities and counties? Pesky nuisance is what they are, standing in the way of the vision Wunderman wants. This is why we've seen the constant spin of surveys and studies indentifying problems that they purport can only be solved regionally. They need to create a taxing mechanism, so they can take the next step and decide what's best for everyone, in spite of our desires. JustJake

The buck stops where? It's time for Eddie to step down ("New Police Chief Toney Chaplin Promises 'Reform, Reform, Reform'", Chris Roberts, The Snitch, 5/20/16)! During Ed Lee's terrible administration, San Francisco has become a sin city. Police killed unarmed civilians at will. Rent has been skyrocketing. Many people can't afford the ridiculous rent and have to go homeless to the streets. Many working families and their innocent children are forced to move out of the city, leaving San Francisco the paradise only for Ed Lee and his tycoon friends like the notorious Walter Wong. Walter Wong is a city contractor, but he has been putting his hand in City Hall for a long time. This is a conflict of interest. San Franciso should proceed with an investigation on their dirty deals under the table. Ralph Lee


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