Cost of extra police on Halloween ‘a wash’

The Halloween nonevent in the Castro last week may have been a dud of a party, but at least an added presence didn’t cost the San Francisco Police Department any more than the previous year.

Speaking in front of the Police Commission on Wednesday night, Deputy Police Chief David Shinn said the costs of buckling down The City were “a wash” compared with 2006, when a scaled-down event raged all night with bloody consequences.

Shinn, who heads the Police Department field operations division, said despite an extra 200 officerson the streets, overtime costs were held to a minimum because most officers were able to go home around midnight, when the night wound down.

According to Shinn, there were no reports of assaults, stabbings or shootings in the entire city on Halloween night. The department also redeployed a number of officers to other parts of The City as problems arose.

Several members of the police commission were in the Castro on Halloween; they thanked officers for keeping The City safe.

Commission President Theresa Sparks said police didn’t really have much say in The City’s policy on Halloween and she thanked officers for following procedure.

“The officers I talked to seemed to be almost to the state of being bored, it was so quiet,” Sparks said. “And I think that was a good sign as I walked around.”

Critics say the “nonevent” resembled martial law and that many of the Castro’s gay-owned businesses were pressured into closing down on one of the most lucrative nights of the year. Sparks said she was also concerned about some issues and called for an investigation into whether bars and other businesses in the Castro were pressured by police to close their doors.

Ted Strawser, a founder of Citizens for Halloween, said some officers were rude to the hundreds of revelers who still showed up. He also complained that despite an earlier public meeting, surprises such as BART closures and an early Muni shutdown made it clear that public comment was not considered.

“I felt like all of our comments and all of our testimony one month before had gone nowhere,” Strawser said.

bbegin@examiner.com

Bay Area NewsCrimeCrime & CourtsLocal

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

Demonstrators commemorated the life of George Floyd and others killed by police outside S.F. City Hall on June 1, 2020.<ins></ins>
Chauvin verdict: SF reacts after jury finds ex-officer guilty on all charges

San Franciscans were relieved Tuesday after jurors found a former Minneapolis police… Continue reading

San Francisco Unified School District Board member Faauuga Moliga, right, pictured with Superintendent Vincent Matthews on the first day back to classrooms, will be board vice president for the remander of the 2121 term. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Faauuga Moliga named as school board vice president to replace Alison Collins

The San Francisco school board on Tuesday selected board member Fauuga Moliga… Continue reading

Legislation by Supervisor Rafael Mandelman would require The City to add enough new safe camping sites, such as this one at 180 Jones St. in the Tenderloin, to accomodate everyone living on the street. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
City would create sites for hundreds of tents under new homeless shelter proposal

Advocates say funding better spent on permanent housing

An instructor at Sava Pool teaches children drowning prevention techniques. (Jordi Molina/ Special to the S.F. Examiner)
Indoor city pools reopen for lap swimming and safety classes

Two of San Francisco’s indoor city pools reopened Tuesday, marking another step… Continue reading

A construction worker rides on top of materials being transported out of the Twin Peaks Tunnel as work continues at West Portal Station on Thursday, August 16, 2018. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
SFMTA’s poor track record on capital projects risks losing ‘public trust’

Supervisors say cost overruns and delays could jeapordize future ballot revenue measures

Most Read