Newsom announces details of new plan

Mayor Gavin Newsom defended a planned crackdown on low-level crimes committed by homeless people and others on the streets of San Francisco’s South of Market area, calling his program “more targeted” and “focused” than sweeping tactics attempted by previous mayors.

The program, called the “downtown outreach plan” in an internal memo sent last week from Newsom’s deputy chief of staff, Julian Potter, will use teams of police officers and social service staff in a 15-block area, from Third to Fifth streets and Market to ket to Harrison streets.

“Any person committing a crime (littering, encampment, trespassing, urinating, defecating, dumping, blocking sidewalk, intoxication, etc.), will be asked to cease the behavior and enter into services,” Potter wrote. “If the individual resists services, the officer will issue a citation.”

Supervisor Chris Daly, who released the memo to the media, said The City should not punish homeless people unless there are adequate shelter beds for everyone on the street. Daly announced Wednesday that he will reintroduce a $5 million budget appropriation, which was killed earlier this year, for more affordable housing for formerly homeless people.

Although the officers and social workers are called “Homeless Outreach Teams,” Newsom said most of the people The City will target are in need of services, but not homeless.

The “services or citation” approach will also be used within a new San Francisco court program Newsom’s office is developing, called the Community Justice Center.

The idea is modeled on the MidTown Manhattan Community Court in New York City, which requires most defendants to perform community service or attend a social service group within 24 hours of arraignment, or face jail time.

San Francisco plans to put its new court in the Tenderloin, and focus on such misdemeanor crimes as prostitution and drug dealing since a state law dictates that infractions can only carry a penalty fine.

Potter said the Community Justice Center won’t be launched until this spring.

beslinger@examiner.com

Each day until voters go to the polls Nov. 6, The Examiner lays odds on local figures beating Mayor Gavin Newsom. Check out our exclusive blog: San Francisco's Next Mayor?

Bay Area NewsLocal

Just Posted

Badly needed rain cooled off pedestrians on Market Street in The City on Wednesday. (Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner)
Storm door opens in San Francisco — what will the rains bring?

‘Come Monday, fire season in Northern California should be done’

Newly appointed City Attorney David Chiu will play a key role in an upcoming legal battle between gig economy companies and The City. (Sheila Fitzgerald/Shutterstock)
City Attorney David Chiu faces immediate test in major gig economy lawsuit

DoorDash and Grubhub are suing San Francisco over price controls

FILE — In-N-Out Burger, the popular California fast-food chain, is resisting San Francisco's public health rules that require indoor diners to show proof of vaccination. (J. Emilio Flores/The New York Times)
When it comes to San Francisco vaccine rules, In-N-Out should heed Biblical advice

Burger chain’s vaccine fight distracts from its tasty burgers and French fries controversy

The Walgreens at 4645 Mission St. in The City is among those slated to close. <ins>(Courtesy photo)</ins>
Walgreens says it’s closing five SF stores due to crime. Where’s the data?

Walgreens should be transparent, enlighten city leaders about crime’s effect on business

Lake Hennessey, a reservoir for Napa, looked dry in June. Gov. Gavin Newsom on Tuesday issued a proclamation extending the drought emergency statewide and asked residents to redouble water conservation efforts. <ins>(Mike Kai Chen/New York Times)</ins>
Newsom declares drought emergency across California

State closed out its second-driest water year on record

Most Read