Castro district hires private armed security as reported burglaries increase 76% year over year

Reported burglaries increased 76% year-over-year between March 10 and through the first three weeks of 2021 in the police district that includes the Castro and Mission neighborhoods, according to figures from SFPD

Late last month the CBD launched a program contracting the Patrol Special Police (SFPSP), a private, city-chartered armed security force which cooperates with SFPD, to walk the neighborhood and be on call four days a week. The initiative was set in motion prior to Covid-19, but conditions have made their presence more relevant than ever, CBD Executive Director Andrea Aiello. Forty weekly hours of service from the SFPSP costs $104,000 on an annual basis, which the CBD covered with a grant from the city, Aiello said. Another program for forty hours a week to have unarmed Peace Ambassadors walk the community on the SFPSP's off days costs $169,000 annually, she said, also facilitated through a grant from the city's Office of Economic Workforce Development.

Covid-19 outbreaks in prisons have complicated the criminal justice process, he [Poice Chief Scott Brown] said, slowing down the courts and leading to the early release of people "who probably would not have been released as early as they did. Property crimes are lower on that priority scale of those who need to stay in."