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SFPD Southern Station Community Meeting in South Beach on Monday

The Southern Station’s January Community Meeting occurs today, Monday, January 26, 2009 at the South Beach Harbor Services Building (between Pier 40 and AT&T Park on The Embarcadero) starting at 6:00 p.m.

Note that there’s a Rincon Point/South Beach Citizens Advisory Committee meeting just prior to the Southern Station Community Meeting, with the former starting at 5:00 p.m. at the same location.

Here’s Captain McDonagh’s letter from this past Friday, 1/23/2009 …

IT’S THE WEEKEND! TIME TO PARTY!
For Officers and residents of the Southern Station District this isn’t always the best time of the week. Last Saturday Night 4 people were stabbed in a melee outside a club, at another a young woman was hit in the face with a bottle thrown from a car, fights were broken up, people were arrested for being drunk in public, cited for urinating, a large cache of narcotics was seized from a group who had hired women to go out and party with them. Unusual weekend, I wish I could say it was but it’s not.

The Southern District has 61 establishments with entertainment permits and California Department of Alcohol Beverage Control (ABC) alcohol licenses commonly referred to as nightclubs. They are spaced throughout the district and have a capacity for over 30,000 people. In addition, venues can apply for a One Night Event Permit (for entertainment) and an ABC license; this isn’t counting the establishments that just have an ABC license. Then, Southern has to deal with unpermitted and illegal parties that pop up every weekend.

Members of the community ask what the Police Department is doing regarding all of this. Let me start by saying the Police Department doesn’t have control over ABC licenses or entertainment permits.

The Entertainment Commission (EC) issues permits for places that wish to have entertainment. The Police Department makes recommendations and at Southern our Permit Officer, Officer Bruckert is one of the best.

We keep a constant watch over problematic venues with reports submitted by Officers, we conduct permits checks, the Entertainment Commission is then briefed on the issues and Southern Station will recommend conditions be put on the permit or the permit be suspended. But ultimately it’s the Entertainment Commission’s decision. Here in the Southern, we’ve tried to get a protocol for all clubs to follow, training security, video taping, weapons searches, these are just a few common sense protocols we try to get the clubs to institute but again only the Entertainment Commission can order it done.

An ABC permit is granted by the State. Here again the Police Department can only make a recommendation and that recommendation can be overruled by the Board of Supervisors. It should be noted that San Francisco already has more ABC licenses per capita than any other place in the state.

Every weekend Southern Station is prepared for what lies ahead. I have Officers who can only have days off on Tuesday and Wednesday so that I can maximize the amount of Officers on the weekend. Specialized
units are also working the district such as Vice Crimes and Traffic Officers but there are times when we’ve reached peak capacity and you’ll see Police Cars racing back and forth across the District trying to keep pace with the calls for service.

Southern isn’t alone in regards to this type of activity; Central, Mission and other stations experience the same problems and frustrations. I expect the amount of Entertainment Commission licenses to grow.

A so called “Event Center” on Treasure Island already has its entertainment permit and is remodeling the building. Once this opens, resources will have to be increased on Treasure Island which means they won’t be available here on the mainland. Pretty soon summer will be here and all the issues will increase.

Southern Station is constantly trying new ways to combat these old problems. We will continue to work with the Entertainment Commission regarding these issues. As members of the community, you have a say on these issues too, so please contact the Entertainment Commission or the ABC if you have any concerns, comments, or recommendations.

Entertainment Commission
Address: 1 Dr. Charlton B. Goodlett Place, Room 453, SF, CA 94102
Phone: 415-554-6678

ABC
Address: 71 Stevenson St. Suite 1500, SF, CA 94105
Phone: 415-356-6500

Don’t forget the Community Meeting on Monday January 26th 2009 at 6pm at the South Beach Harbor Community Room located at Pier 40.

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