SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) – San Francisco Mayor London Breed joined other civic leaders Tuesday in announcing an increased police presence in Union Square to protect holiday shoppers for the second year in a row.
“The safety of our residents, workers, and visitors is the City’s top priority, and I want to thank our public safety partners for taking every precautionary measure to ensure a successful holiday season,” Breed stated in a press release. “We are taking lessons learned from last year to inform this year’s safety strategy in Union Square and the surrounding areas. As we continue to work on our economic recovery, our public safety staff and community partners are focused on making sure everyone has a welcoming and positive experience supporting our local businesses.”
The plan, called the 2022 Safe Shopper initiative, is to limit points of entry on Union Square, close some streets to vehicle traffic, and ramp-up police presence in and around the downtown shopping mecca.
The SFPD, park rangers and other security personnel will also be patrolling the parking garages in the area, and more community ambassadors will be deployed.
After a night of rampant retail theft in Union Square last year, Breed and the SFPD increased police presence in the area, leading to major decreases in reported assaults, burglaries, larcenies and motor vehicle thefts from Nov. 20-Dec. 6 of that year.
“Compared to last year the city has not seen the same elevation in crime going into this holiday season, largely attributed to a scaled-up presence in the Union Square area which has helped deter criminal activity,” a press release from Breed’s office states. “The goal of the Safe Shopper initiative is to continue these efforts.”
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Newly-elected District Attorney Brooke Jenkins said she is proud to back these efforts.
“I look forward to visiting Union Square every year with my family during the holidays, for the great shopping, amazing lights, ice skating and so much more,” Jenkins stated in the press release. “Keeping each other safe is important all the time, everywhere, but especially important during the holidays. Addressing crimes against retailers and businesses is essential to restoring public safety. While the goal is to prevent crime, we stand ready to prosecute criminal behavior.”
Union Square will also be the site of free viewing parties of World Cup matches on Nov. 25-27.