Capt. Sandra Tong: Police Beat

Summer break and vacation time is over, and children are back in school. This means that the streets will be busier and Muni buses and bus stops will be crowded before and after school. If you are out driving, please be observant to the extra pedestrian traffic, especially in school zones and transit points near our local schools.

Whether you are a pedestrian or a motorist, please remember to respect each other and safely share the roadway. Remember my motto: "Traffic safety begins with you."

Fall is just around the corner and that means Halloween is close. The streets will be full of the little, and not so little, "trick or treat" participants. If you are going to be out with children and friends on Halloween night, make sure you are visible to motorists and stay close together. Look for cars and bicycles before anyone crosses the street and teach children that it is not safe to cross on a red traffic light or to jaywalk.

Glow-in-the-dark wands are always a hit with children and can be seen from a distance by drivers. Costumes are fun and we all love to see the cute toddlers and original designs that people come up with, but keep in mind that a facemask that inhibits the eyes can present a danger. If you can't see what's coming towards you, don't assume that you will be seen.

Remember to examine all candy and treats before consuming. If any item is questionable, throw it away. Poison control is a good number to keep handy at all times: (800) 523-2222.

I am happy to report that we have taken two counterfeit criminals off the streets, thanks to an observant bartender. The suspects went into a number of bars and restaurants before they reached the Richmond District. They would order a couple of drinks and then pay with a counterfeit $100 bill. They would then pocket the change and move on to the next victim's establishment.

However, when they made their second stop in the Richmond, they made their mistake by talking too loudly. The bartender overheard a comment and became suspicious, which prompted her to check the bill that they had just passed to her. She then called the police. The end result was a traffic stop and arrests. The Secret Service takes counterfeit crimes very seriously.

The next Community/Police Forum will be held on Tuesday, Sept. 18, 7 p.m., at the Richmond Station's community room. The primary speaker will be Sandra Gardner from the Red Cross. She will discuss emergency preparedness. Additionally, two 10-minute presentations will be made by the SF Police Department's Auto Detail regarding preventing automobile break-ins and a survey request by consultants evaluating foot patrols and redistricting in the City. It will be a busy, but informative, night.

Capt. Sandra Tong is the commanding officer at the Richmond Station.