New law will allow San Francisco retailers to hire sheriff’s deputies amid uptick in crime

Bay Area

The San Francisco Board of Supervisors has passed legislation allowing uniformed sheriff’s deputies to be hired by retailers and commercial establishments to provide additional law enforcement presence at their businesses. 

“It’s something that’s been decades in the making, and we believe it will provide one additional spoke in the wheel of justice to deal with what is plaguing our city right now,” SF Supervisor Ahsha Safai said. 

Up to now, if Walgreens or any other businesses wanted to pay a uniformed officer to work overtime to provide additional security at their store, it had to be a San Francisco police officer.

But due to staffing issues, and the rise in retail theft, the SFPD has not been able to meet all those requests. 

“This SFPD was unable to meet the demand for what was asked of us, and now we have our partners from the San Francisco Sheriff’s Department that will help alleviate those shortages,” said SF Police Chief Bill Scott. 

The sheriff’s office says, despite not having enough officers either, this won’t impact current staffing levels.

“This is voluntary overtime provided by our staff as opportunities to sign up for and get out into the community to protect the retail establishments,” said SF Sheriff Paul Miyamoto. 

Details of the plan still need to be worked out, and unfortunately, officials say it won’t be ready to go until after the current holiday season.

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