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Close Encounters October 2022

October 1, 2022

Going, going, . . . Gone!!
The San Francisco Police Department could, quite possibly, face a day of reckoning as far as personnel shortages are concerned.
It’s common knowledge that the Department should be staffed with more than 2100 officers, but they have been slowly dropping from 2100 to 1723.
And, if that isn’t enough bad news, another 300 members will be eligible to walk with their retirement diplomas in December of this year dropping the total loss of bodies to around 1650!!

Now this isn’t what you’d call “breaking news” since the Department has known, for some time, that they had to hire. But now, it’s too late.
Even if, by some miracle, they find 2-300 eligible candidates for the Police Academy, it’s going to take them years to catch up to the numbers they lost.
San Francisco doesn’t have years. Just look around. . .

Fortunately, the SF Police Association, under the guidance of President Tracy McCray is doing everything possible to fortify the concerns of her members as far as personnel staffing is concerned. But the cupboards are pretty much empty. And that’s exactly what all the other police departments are finally realizing.
Where to go from here? Destination unknown.

Moving on . . . Recruit Officer Dustin Ortiz was enjoying his days off while perusing his email and came across an “ALL” broadcast that had just been issued for a 6-year old Missing Child from Gilman Playground who was both autistic and non-auditory.
R/Officer Ortiz suddenly realized that the description matched the young child who just boarded the Muni rail car he was riding and the child had no shoes or shirt on. Instantly, Dustin was on the 9-1-1 line and help was on the way. And soon after that the child was re-united with his very grateful family.
The Department needs more people like Dustin!! (like maybe 500!!)

And, in the Mission, Officer Officer Lindsay Droz, Officer Laura Zasly, and Officer Ari Smith-Russack were on patrol when they were dispatched to the BART Station at 24th & Mission to search for a suspect who was concealing a gun in his waistband. This is an intersection of note since it is tremendously crowded in the early afternoon and remains so all through the late afternoon.
Nevertheless, the officers were quick to recognize the suspect by the description given and, once in position, they issued verbal commands that he refused to follow. They simply went to another step-up in their use of force at which time the suspect finally stopped his resisting.
Turns out he was armed with a .40 caliber Smith and Wesson semi-automatic weapon that he had that was all ready to go the entire time the officers were trying to restrain him.

The Ingleside, Taraval, and Mission Districts in The City were getting hit hard by a felon just waiting to get caught and go to jail. This guy would stand on the traffic islands of those busy districts and, when an occupied vehicle drove up and had to stop for the red turn-light, our coward would come running up and start bashing the windows of the cars out (Smash and grab) causing a tremendous amount of financial loss not to mention the sheer terror parents would have for their children in the back seat of the car.

It took a tremendous amount of time and effort to put a case together that would cover the damage that had been done and put the felons (there was more than 1 involved) in jail who inflicted so much damage to the victims to the point where many of them probably considered moving from the City. But rest assured, the following officers and others just like them won’t let this happen again!
The real heroes are:

Sergeant Pavel Khmarskly, Officer Joseph Gummo, Officer Amir Mahmoud,Officer Michael Ferraresi Dustin Clclogh, Nathaniel Manalang, Yaroslev Shablinskly, BrettMontague,and Officer Andrew Kavanagh.

They are the ones who put this case together and arrested the main culprits.
But the City is still not safe from other predators. Consider the following account:

Officer Bryan Santana and Officer Jordan Coverson were on patrol in the Mission when they saw a suspicious car driving in the area of 20th and Sanchez without headlights on. The driver quickly drove off before the officers could investigate further. But they did see the vehicle again, this time at 19th Street and Guerrero. It ran a red light.

The officers initiated a traffic stop and found that the driver was unlicensed and the passenger was intoxicated with an open container in the car. There was further evidence found that required the car to be towed so Officer Santana completed a vehicle inventory slip and, while he was conducting this search, he found a fully-loaded, semi-automatic handgun in the center console.
A record check of the driver revealed that he was a convicted felon on probation from San Mateo County and had prior convictions for attempted kidnapping and he had access to the gun during the entire interaction with the officers . . .

Police work is dangerous, difficult, and demanding.. . .
It’s all the things you don’t want to see on a job description . . .
But it’s also a family. A family like no other because no one else could do your job!