Capt. Curtis Lum: SF Police Get High Marks

Approval rating high for SF Police Department
San Francisco Police Chief Greg Suhr recently reported in the SF Police Officers' Association Journal that, according to the 2014 SF Chamber of Commerce "City Beat" survey, 73 percent of the people surveyed who live, work and/or visit San Francisco have a favorable view of the SF Police Department, while 19 percent of the participants see us as unfavorable. This is better than last year, and not bad for a department that is down more than 300 officers.

Complaints against officers
Chief Suhr also wrote in the Journal that the Office of Civilian Complaints, or OCC, had 706 actual complaint cases filed against San Francisco police officers in 2013. Of those, 422 have been closed and 15 complaints have been recommended "sustained." This means that in these 15 complaints, the OCC believes the officer violated a policy of the SF Police Department (SFPD). None of the sustained complaints were for unnecessary force.

The SFPD responded to more than 1 million calls for service last year. Basically, 1 person complains about police service for every 1,447 calls for service, and the OCC makes a sustained recommendation for every 68,000-plus calls for service.

Almost 20,000 people were arrested in San Francisco last year. If one uses custodial arrests as a measure, for every 1,000 people arrested, less than 20, or 2 percent, complained about how they were arrested by the SFPD, and only one person who was arrested and made a complaint had a recommendation sustained by OCC.

Traffic safety
The officers at Taraval Station are continuing their efforts in traffic enforcement. We have been concentrating on the major corridors, especially around Sunset Boulevard and Yorba Street. We have been targeting speeders using LIDAR (a remote sensing technology), which allows the officer to very quickly establish the speed of a moving vehicle.

So far, Taraval officers have written about 1,000 more citations than they wrote last year at this same time. The SFPD is committed to reducing traffic collisions and improving traffic safety. If you're driving, help us by slowing down and driving carefully. If you're on a bicycle, you have to obey the same laws as vehicles. Pay attention while crossing the street. Walk defensively.

Taraval District has lowest crime rate in the City
The Taraval Police District has the lowest crime rate in San Francisco. The Part-1 crime rate, which is homicide, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, auto theft, burglary theft from vehicle, arson and other theft, is 5.26 per 1,000 residents. This is the lowest Part-1 crime rate in the City.

Capt. Curtis Lum is the commanding officer at the Taraval Police Station. This column ran in the July 15 issue of the "Taraval Times Newsletter."