Dufty seeks city study of Patrol Special

One city supervisor is calling for more information about San Francisco’s Patrol Special, a little known subset of the police department that makes armed security officers available for hire.

The force, which numbers about 25 officers, has been a part of the City Charter since 1932 and has been hired by merchants seeking protection.

Critics say the officers are too similar to sworn police officers, although they do not have the same arrest or report-writing powers, nor do they receive the same comprehensive training given to the police.

On Tuesday, Supervisor Bevan Dufty called on the Controller’s Office to study the the effectiveness of the organization as a whole.

“The public sees someone in a blue uniform and they think they’re a cop, but they have entirely different functions,” Dufty said. “We just have to look where they fit in to an overall policing strategy.”

bbegin@examiner.com

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