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April 28, 2010

 

REGULAR MEETING

The Police Commission of the City and County of San Francisco met in the Taraval District, A.P. Giannini Middle School, 3151 Ortega Street, San Francisco, at 6:09 p.m., in a Regular Meeting.

PRESENT: Commissioners Marshall Mazzucco, DeJesus, Lee, Hammer, Onek, Pan

(Commissioner DeJesus arrived at 6:15 p.m., and Commissioner Lee arrived at7:15 p.m.)

Commissioner Marshall welcomed the audience and asked the Commissioners to introduce themselves.

REPORTS TO THE COMMISSION

a. Chief’s Report

- Update on significant policing efforts by Department members

Assistant Chief Tabak announced that Chief Gascón will be arriving in about 15 minutes.

Chief Gascón announced that he had a meeting at City Hall today with the Chinese-American community. The Chief stated that it was a productive meeting and that concerns were discussed about crimes in the Visitation Valley and the Bayview area. The Chief also talked about having a stopping center for maybe two or three times a week, hours will be determined. There will be bilingual officers. This is so that people can come in and report crimes and/or get status reports of an existing investigation. There will also be 32 officers from different districts to work in the Ingleside/Bayview area. The Chief also stated that there is a commitment from the Board of Supervisors to get funding for greater access to language.

The Chief then reported on crime numbers year-to-date: 15 percent reduction year-to-date for Part 1 crimes, 12,196 in 2009 versus 11,045 for 2010; 18 percent down on property crimes; slight increase in homicides from 15 in 2009 versus 17 in 2010; rapes is 45 in 2009 versus 52 in 2010; robberies is 1053 is 2009 versus 987 in 2010.

b. OCC Director’s Report

- Review of recent activities

Director Hicks described the duties and responsibilities of the Office of Citizen Complaints.

c. Commission Reports

- Commission President’s Report

- Commissioners’ Reports

Commissioner Marshall thanked Commissioner Pan for participating in discussion in regards to recent incidents with the Asian and African/American communities.

CAPTAIN DENISE SCHMITT, COMMANDING OFFICER OF TARAVAL STATION, TO ADDRESS THE COMMISSION ON POLICE ACTIVITIES IN THE TARAVAL DISTRICT

Captain Schmitt welcomed the Commission and the audience to the Taraval District. Captain Schmitt went on to describe the demographics of the Taraval District and the Taraval Station.

PUBLIC COMMENT

Shana Govenor, Axis of Love, expressed concerns regarding attacks by the Supervisors and Captain Schmitt in regards to cannabis enforcement.

Greg Tedbetter, Medical Marijuana Offense Committee, discussed concerns regarding medical marijuana enforcement.

Lana Lee, member of Sunset community, stated that there is a need for open communication in regards to medical marijuana.

Theresa Cooper, health educator & cannabis patient, discussed concerns regarding access to medical cannabis.

Rev. Madeleine Webster, San Francisco Patient Advocate, stated there is a need to educate people as to medical cannabis.

Sonia Ng, Sunset resident, (through interpreter) discussed concerns regarding the opening of a medical marijuana dispensary and concerns for safety of children in the neighborhood.

Paul Fontana commended Chief Gascón and Captain Schmitt and went on to discuss recent Commission decision in regards to tasers and asked that the Commission reconsider.

Stuart Rhodes, chair of Cultivation Subcommittee of the SF Cannabis Working Group, expressed concerns regarding misunderstanding of medical cannabis.

Catherine Colbert, cancer survivor, stated that controlled substance needs to be dispensed in a safe and controlled manner for the safety of the neighborhood.

Commissioner Lee addressed the audience and apologized for being late. Commissioner Lee stated that she was with Mrs. Fang and her family. Mrs. Fang was the victim who was thrown off the metro bus stop platform.

Unidentified expressed concerns regarding medical cannabis enforcement by the Taraval District officers.

Russ Grossman, medical cannabis patient, expressed support for safe access in the Sunset District.

Oscar Easless, disabled veteran & cannabis patient, stated that there should be a choice for patient to have medical cannabis.

Wendy Wong opposed to have medical marijuana dispensary in the Taraval due to the close vicinity to Lincoln High School.

Catherine Smith, owner of a medical cannabis dispensary, would like to educate the public in regards to medical cannabis and the difference between compassionate growers and for-profit growers.

Gwen Liu discussed concerns for safety of children around the neighborhood.

Michelle Kwan discussed concerns for safety of the Taraval District.

Kim discussed concerns for safety of her daughter if there will be a medical marijuana dispensary in the Taraval.

Le Hong discussed concerns regarding how easy it is for kids to access marijuana.

Unidentified, 21

st and Taraval resident, discussed concerns for safety of her child.

Max Del Rio, medical cannabis advocate, stated that medical marijuana has been legal and that the city has a right to provide safe access to people who chose alternative medicine and stated that this is a planning issue.

Mr. Jue stated that San Francisco has already 23 marijuana dispensaries and that the Sunset does not need another dispensary and discussed concerns for safety of teenagers in the neighborhood.

Ms. Chen discussed concerns for her children’s safety and concerns about opening a dispensary in front of Lincoln High School and that it might serve as temptation for the kids.

Jeanette Berger expressed support for the police.

Larry McFarlan stated that dispensaries do not allow children to go inside or to be within 20 feet of the dispensary.

Mike expressed support for medical cannabis dispensary.

Ed Breslin asked that the department help educate in regards to safety and the increase and decrease of crime around medical marijuana dispensaries.

Gilbert, Native American, asked that everyone should get over all the lies and ignorance and educate ourselves.

Unidentified stated that children will not be around dispensaries and stated that dispensary in the Sunset is just for safe access.

Mary Harris, OMI, thanked Captain Schmitt and the Taraval officers for good work around the neighborhood and asked for a safety pamphlet be issued by the Department.

Art Tom, Sunset resident, stated the issue is what does the community wants.

Unidentified stated that dispensaries are for citizens who are in need of alternative medicine.

Unidentified expressed support for the Chinese-American community and stated that maybe it is wrong timing for this dispensary and that more education is needed.

Mr. Clark, Access of Love, stated that there is a mechanism of control in medical dispensaries.

Unidentified stated that there were over 100 Sunset residents who stood up and left but that is not due to disrespect but to protest medical marijuana dispensary in the Sunset.

Russell Kyle, Sunset & Richmond resident, discussed concerns.

Yvette Fernandez, cancer patient, stated that medical cannabis lessens the effects of pharmaceutical drugs.

Hector stated that, with proper rules and regulations, a medical cannabis dispensary in the Sunset will do fine.

Unidentified expressed support for police officers and expressed concern for safety of his wife and child and the concerns for someone who has been smoking marijuana and getting behind the wheel of a car.

Commissioner DeJesus asked about a letter written by Captain Schmitt opposing the dispensary in the Sunset and stated that maybe the Commission should hear this item again. Captain Schmitt explained what was presented in her presentation was the issue of illegal growers in the district and not the issue of medical dispensaries. She also explained that her letter to the Planning Department was "my way of saying that the issues we’ve seen in and around the dispensaries on Ocean Avenue, whether they’re statistically based or based on the experience of going out and seeing these things in public and speaking to the residents and merchants out there, that’s the reality of what I’ve seen as a police officer and those are the things that could come to pass should the Planning Department approve the same type of business on Taraval Avenue. Now, as far as politicking the issue, while I do get asked a lot about the proposed medical dispensary, I think even Mr. Hansberry would say, I have put their … they have held meetings, the Bay Area Compassionate Health, has held meetings at Taraval Station to invite the public in to talk to them about the proposed dispensary. Every meeting that I have gone to, I have told people they have open house on Wednesdays at their location, go in there and see what they have to say. I personally visited the site. I’ve seen the plans Greg has for security, and I’ve talked to him about what could potentially happen at a site like that on Taraval Street, what the risks are. I’ve had, I think, two captain’s meetings at Taraval Station since this issue have come to light and they have been really well attended because there’s a lot of passion in the community about this issue. And I’ve told everyone who’d come to those meetings, you need to explore whether or not you think what they’re proposing as their business plan and whether you think just like any other business, that’s a business you want in your community. The repercussions or consequences, either good or bad, that come to the district will be ours to deal with. Have I seen some negative impact in communities from having medical cannabis dispensaries, yes, I have. On Ocean Avenue and speaking to the merchants and residents in and around there and the police activity that we have around there, we have seen some negative consequences. Does that mean I know whether or not Mr. Hansberry and the coalition could put

together a business plan, no. I’m not a business person and that’s why I tell the community educate yourself, come to your own conclusion, go to the Planning Department, and express your opinions."

Commissioner DeJesus stated that she would like to put this issue in front of the Commission and asked for statistics in regards to incidents mentioned in the Captain’s letter in and around the Ocean Avenue dispensaries.

Chief Gascón explained that what Captain Schmitt was doing was that the Captain was asked for her opinion as to whether having another cannabis dispensary, much like what is done with ABC licenses, how it would impact the safety of the community and the Captain was reacting as to what her community would like the Department to do. The Chief stated that the Department will provide to the Commission the statistics requested so that the Commission can evaluate the level of crimes around dispensaries.

Commissioner Mazzucco stated that every District Captains have their First Amendment Right to express their opinions and stated that this is a neighborhood decision that live in the community and the Planning Department.

Commissioner Pan thanked Captain Schmitt and the members of the Taraval District for their presentation.

Commissioner Hammer thanked Captain Schmitt for her presentation.

Commissioner Lee thanked the Captain for her presentation and explained that the Chinese press have asked people to attend this meeting in regards to the propose medical marijuana dispensary.

Commissioner Marshall thanked the Captain for her presentation and for what she is doing in the district and thanked the community for attending and expressing their concerns.

ROUTINE ADMINISTRATIVE BUSINESS

a. Commission Announcements

- Assignment of Disciplinary Charges filed in Case No. KMO C10-032 to an individual Commissioner for the taking of evidence on a date to be determined by the Commissioner

(Assigned to Commissioner Joe Marshall, Resolution 50-10)

b. Items identified for consideration at future Commission Meetings

None

PUBLIC COMMENT

None

ADJOURNMENT

Motion by Commissioner Mazzucco, second by Commissioner Onek. Approved 7-0.

Thereafter, the meeting was adjourned at 8:57 p.m.

_______________________________

Lieutenant Joseph Reilly

Secretary

San Francisco Police Commission

1497/rct

Last updated: 9/2/2010 11:07:35 AM