S.F., Daly City to join in police operations

Two communities are taking action across city borders to enhance police communications between Daly City and San Francisco as part of an effort to make their abutting neighborhoods safer.

Specifically, the Crocker Neighborhood Association — part of Daly City — and the Outer Mission Residents Association — part of San Francisco — are pushing for more effective radio communication between the cities’ police departments to facilitate the pursuit of lawbreakers.

Police officers in both departments rely on monitoring one another’s frequencies to know what is happening across the San Francisco-Daly City city limits, but when they are trying to aid one another, they must go to the phones and work through dispatch, police officials said.

Daly City police Chief Gary McClane said last Monday that he would speak with San Francisco police Chief Heather Fong during a regularly scheduled meeting about how to communicate more effectively.

“It’s effective, but I think there are ways out there that are more effective,” McClane said.

The discussion comes on the heels of Crocker Neighborhood Association and the Outer Mission Residents Association forming a task force to improve communication between the two communities and their respective police departments.

Crocker President Leah Berlanga and Capt. Al Casciato, a veteran San Francisco police officer native to the Outer Mission and a member of the Outer Mission association, formed the task force to fight gang activity, improve traffic safety and streamline radio communication, Berlanga said.

“The task force is going to be good because by having these allies on both sides, we’ll help them with issues they’re having with Daly City and vice versa,” Berlanga said.

Berlanga said that during a ride-along with San Francisco police last week, she witnessed Daly City police pursuing a suspect, but when San Francisco police attempted to assist, they had to go through dispatch to figure out how to help. Ultimately, the suspect escaped thanks to lost time, she said.

Casciato said the current methods are “frustrating” and wished for a common radio channel to talk with Daly City and Brisbane police departments.

He said it was “just a matter of time” before all services that crossed the San Francisco border would be improved.

“The point is, the neighborhoods out there are all linked,” Casciato said. “In reality, the boundary lines are artificial — the infrastructure is all connected.”

dsmith@examiner.com

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