Mid-Market community ambassadors in United Nations Plaza are working to combat crime and keep the area clean. <ins>(Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)</ins>

Mid-Market community ambassadors in United Nations Plaza are working to combat crime and keep the area clean. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)

More cops and counselors coming to troubled Mid-Market

San Francisco will add more police officers to the Mid-Market area starting Wednesday and next month position community ambassadors on every block in that part of The City to improve public safety, Mayor London Breed announced Tuesday.

Funding for the strategy is being included in Breed’s upcoming two-year city budget proposal, but elements of the effort will launch immediately with funds from the current budget.

Breed said in a statement that “we’re focusing on both addressing the illegal activity that is unacceptable and will not be allowed to continue, while also building up our community presence.”

“All of our residents and workers deserve to feel safe, and this area of the City continues to face a number of challenges that need to be addressed,” Breed said.

The police presence will expand in the area including foot patrols, motorcycle and bicycle officers as well as officers on horseback. The announcement didn’t specify the amount of officers that will be added to the area but the increase will focus in the Mid-Market, UN Plaza and Tenderloin areas with operations coordinated from a UN Plaza location.

The community ambassadors, provided by the nonprofit Urban Alchemy, will be stationed beginning June 15 on each block of the area for 10-12 hours daily. They will engage with residents and visitors in the area and connect people with services if needed.

The blocks covered will extend from the Powell Street BART station at Fifth and Market streets to Eighth and Market streets as well as adjacent areas like south of Market Street, UN Plaza and the Tenderloin blocks bordered by Larkin Street and Eddy Street.

According to the Mayor’s Office, the funding for the plan, which is being called the “Mid-Market Vibrancy and Safety Plan,” includes $5 million that would be in Breed’s budget proposal. University of California, Hastings College of the Law is contributing $3 million to the effort, which it is has secured in state funding.

“Mid-Market has a huge, urgent need for public safety, activation, outreach … and support,” said District 6 Supervisor Matt Haney. “The key to the success of this plan will be to include both a focus on community safety, and immediate, effective interventions for people experiencing homelessness, addiction, or mental health crises.”

“This response has to be comprehensive in addressing the needs in the area and it has to be sustained if it is going to be effective. This is also an important part of our response to preventing and stopping attacks against Asian seniors. We’ve developed an API safety plan which we are working on integrating into this Mid-Market plan.”

jsabatini@sfexaminer.com

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