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Friday, November 9, 2012

World Series, Presidential Visit, Back-to-Back Murders Kept S.F. Cops Busy Last Month

Posted By on Fri, Nov 9, 2012 at 3:32 PM

Giving cops something to do - PHOTO BY SUSANA BATES VIA THE CHRONICLE
  • Photo by Susana Bates via the Chronicle
  • Giving cops something to do

You thought you had a busy October? Between the nonstop special events and increasing gun violence in the Mission, believe us when we say San Francisco cops were pretty occupied, and it wasn't exactly a fun day at the bluegrass festival for them.

Down by 300 officers, the men and women in blue were tasked with making sure things ran smoothly during the unusually busy month of October, which included the America's Cup, the Bluegrass Festival, Giants games, a presidential visit, and a Burning Man fair, capped off by a World Series parade. 

Can you say transitpocalypse?

See also: Violent Weekend in San Francisco: Four Killed, Elderly Woman Beaten

While the cops don't have all of last month's crime numbers broken down for us just yet, they could say with much certainty that the Mission District alone saw a 5 percent increase in crime. This recently prompted police to deploy their violence reduction teams and the gang task force to the area, in an attempt to curb crime in that neighborhood. They've had some success; gun crime has declined by 10 percent and cops arrested 42 suspects and got 40 guns off the street last month.

In addition, arrests in the Mission have increased by 9 percent over the last month.

"Even one gun off the street can make a difference," says Officer Albie Esparza.

Nationally, violent crime is at a five-year low, but gang violence is on the rise, as witnessed in San Francisco as of late. On Oct. 30, 28-year-old Jose Matias-Aguilon was shot to death on the corner of 21st Street and South Van Ness. Police arrested two people, including a 14-year-old boy, in connection with the murder.

But the gun violence isn't just a Mission District problem. Citywide, homicides have increased 21 percent compared to this time last year. Five people were killed in four days last month. Auto theft has increased 28 percent. However, aggravated assaults are down, as are shooting victims.

But don't worry, help is on the way. The Police Academy graduated eight new officers last month, and as many as 100 new cops are expected to join the department by early next year. Hopefully, that will translate into fewer murders in 2013. 

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Coburn Palmer


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