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SFPD Southern Station Captain's Letter 12/30/2008

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The captain’s letter for 12/30/2008 follows.

Captain’s Comments
Tuesday 12/30/08

New Year’s Eve will be Wednesday this week, and the men and women of Southern Station are getting prepared. The Southern area can expect thousands of people to converge on the Embarcadero, Market St., and Clubs located in the district. It can’t be predicted just how many people will attend, anywhere from 50,000 to 200,000. With this economy the way it is, the budget for Police Officers has also been hit hard.

Money that was available in years past is no longer there. So this
year, the number of Officers being deployed is more austere than in
years past. Officers are being used in different capacities and will be
subject to multiple tasks. It’s always hard to assign police officers
to events such as this due to the many unknowns. If the weather is bad and people decide to stay home and the department put in a substantial number of officers on overtime, we would be accused of wasting money. On the flip side, if there are not enough Officers and an unruly crowd shows up then the police department is accused of not planning correctly; therefore it is a tough situation. We will have sufficient resources to handle any unruly incident or emergency. You may have to wait longer for a low priority request that night, so be advised.

On New Year’s Eve, the laws do not change. It is still illegal to consume an alcoholic beverage in a public place and that law will be strictly enforced. I know there are many people who wouldn’t be a problem, they think having champagne at midnight is reasonable, unfortunately history has shown that drinking leads to violence and police want to make sure everyone enjoys a peaceful New Years Eve. On occasion, someone thinks its best to fire a gun to celebrate New Years Eve. However, what goes up must come down, and every year there is an injury attributed to this. If you see someone with a gun, call us immediately. New Years like Halloween isn’t an excuse to behave badly so be forewarned the Officers of the SFPD will not be tolerating illegal activity and the Officers and will react quickly to maintain order on New Years Eve.

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