Police commisioner: S.F. murder rate will get worse before it gets better

With six homicides in San Francisco reported by police already this year, Commissioner Joe Veronese estimates that “this is going to get worse before it gets better.”

The San Francisco Police Department will present some grim statistics on the city's rising homicide rate in 2007 to the Police Commission this evening, among them rising numbers in deaths of black and Latino men.

San Francisco's homicide total increased to 98 last year – up from 85 in 2006 – with nearly three-quarters of the victims black or Latino men, according to statistics released by Lt. John Murphy of the department's homicide detail.

The number of black men murdered in the city rose from 44 in 2006 to 47 in 2007, while the number of Latino men killed jumped from 16 in 2006 to 24 in 2007.

The majority of homicides took place in the city's Bayview, Ingleside and Mission districts, and guns were used in approximately 75 percent of the city's homicides.

Of the 98 victims in San Francisco, 65 had adult criminal records, police reported.

Motives for most of the homicides were attributed to arguments, drugs and gang violence.

Police made 50 arrests in connection with homicides in 2007 and were able to close 38 of the 2007 homicides cases, according to the report.

Several members of the Police Commission expressed serious concern at last week's meeting that more measures are needed to address homicides in San Francisco.

Commission President Theresa Sparks said community support for police and innovation in community policing were keys to reducing violence.

Sparks also recommended police give more publicity to the department's witness protection program, and that police and the San Francisco District Attorney's office work more closely.

“At times in the past, there has been some finger-pointing” between the two groups, she said.

“There needs to be a real plan,” Veronese said. 

He called for an “aggressive program” to reduce homicides and recommended police work with neighborhood religious leaders to establish community groups that can talk with police.

“The community listens to religious leaders,” Veronese said.

The Police Commission meeting takes place at 5:30 p.m. at City Hall.

Bay City News

Bay Area NewsLocal

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

Police release an image a cracked windshield on a Prius that Cesar Vargas allegedly tried to carjack. Vargas, who was shot by police a short time later, can be seen in videos jumping on the windshield and pushing a Muni passenger who disembarked from a bus. (Courtesy SFPD
SFPD releases videos of deadly police shooting

Cesar Vargas killed after reports of carjacking with knife

New legislation would make sure supportive housing tenants don’t pay more than 30 percent of their income for rent.. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner))
Supportive housing tenants could get more help paying the rent

Supportive housing tenants struggling to pay rent could soon see their payments… Continue reading

Organizers of the San Francisco International Arts Festival had planned to use parts of Fort Mason including the Parade Ground, Eucalyptus Grove and Black Point Battery to host performances by about a dozen Bay Area arts groups. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Arts festival sues city over permit denial

Organizer says outdoor performances should be treated like demonstrations, religious gatherings

An oversight body for San Francisco’s mental health programs may be restructured after questions were raised about its management and lack of effectiveness. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Behavioral health oversight body looks for new start — and staff — after mismanagement

Members of an oversight body for San Francisco’s behavioral health programs said… Continue reading

The City requires the recycling or reuse of debris material removed from a construction project site. <ins>(Emma Chiang/Special to S.F. Examiner)</ins>
<ins></ins>
Permits proposed for haulers of construction debris to achieve zero-waste

San Francisco plans to tighten regulations on the disposal of construction and… Continue reading

Most Read