SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) – More police will now be available to deter retail theft in the City of San Francisco, police said Thursday at a press conference in SF’s Chinatown. However, not everyone thinks that more police is the answer

The city’s latest attempt to curtail retail theft is the 10A program.  Like the current 10B program that allows private retailers to hire SFPD officers to provide on-site security, the 10A program will allow businesses to contract deputies from the San Francisco Sheriff’s Office to do the same.

“It’s not so much that we are going out to arrest people, we’re going out there to keep people safe,” said Paul Miyamoto of the San Francisco Sheriff’s Department. “To keep people from committing the crime in the first place but we’re also going out there to provide help and services.”

The problem is that the cost of this service may be a bit out of reach for smaller shop owners, said the president of the California Retailers’ Association, Rachel Michelin. 

“You have to have a certain sales revenue,” she said. “This is an expensive program. It’s not cheap, and it really will impact larger retailers, probably more of the national brands. Maybe some bigger regional retailers. But if you’re a mom-and-pop in San Francisco, maybe just one store, this really isn’t going to help you.”

She said she would like to see a more comprehensive approach to solve the retail theft problem in the city.

“While being able to contract with sheriff’s deputies is certainly a way to deter it, we don’t believe that is the answer long term to really get a handle on the growing issue of retail theft,” Michelin said. 

The 10A legislation allows private businesses to contract deputies on an occasional basis to provide additional law enforcement in commercial corridors and retail establishments.