SFO Airport Short Staffs SF Police Officers

The police staffing shortage at the San Francisco International Airport (SFO) has been a growing concern for the community, travelers, and law enforcement officials. The current system of staffing police officers at the airport has proven to be flawed and inefficient, which has resulted in insufficient police coverage, compromised security, and compromised emergency response.  Not only can’t SFO be properly staffed with SFPD officers, the concept of SFPD at SFO is short staffing the City of San Francisco of its police.  Look at how many police officers they have at SFO and SFO wants more!

It is clear that a change is needed in how the airport is policed. While having the San Francisco Sheriff’s Office (SFSO) take over law enforcement duties at the airport can be a viable solution, a more balanced approach could be a shared staffing model, with 50% police officers and 50% deputy sheriffs.

This shared staffing model would bring together the strengths and expertise of both agencies, providing the SFO with a more comprehensive and well-rounded security and law enforcement service. This partnership can result in a more effective and efficient allocation of law enforcement resources, while also addressing the staffing shortage in the city.

The police officers’ presence at the airport can provide continuity in policing procedures and strategies, with expertise in community policing and handling local issues. On the other hand, the deputy sheriffs’ specialized training in government building/campus security and their expertise in managing incidents within government facilities can ensure that the airport’s unique security needs are met.

To implement this plan, the SFPD and SFSO can work together to establish a joint task force responsible for designing, implementing, and monitoring the shared staffing model. This task force can evaluate the staffing needs of the airport, determine the appropriate allocation of resources, and develop strategies to address staffing shortages in the city.

Additionally, the task force can work with community organizations and stakeholders to ensure that the shared staffing model aligns with community policing goals and best practices. This approach can also improve community relations and trust in law enforcement, which has been a priority for both agencies.

In conclusion, a shared staffing model can address the current staffing shortage at the SFO, improve airport security and law enforcement, and return police officers to the city to increase public safety. The SFDSA has many of it’s members living in San Francisco and many of them use SFO, with SFPD staffing crisis they are concerned for their safety. This approach can be implemented through a joint task force that brings together the strengths and expertise of both agencies, with a focus on community policing and airport security. By working together, the SFPD and SFSO can provide a comprehensive and well-rounded security and law enforcement service that meets the needs of the community and the airport.

Statement on the Thefts at the Medical Examiners Office

The role of Medical Examiner Investigator is critical in ensuring that justice is served in cases of sudden or unexpected deaths. In San Francisco, the majority of these coroner investigators are California POST Certified Peace Officers, who undergo rigorous screening, training, and are held to a higher standard of conduct than civilians. However in the past the City and County of San Francisco had civilianized Medical Examiner Investigator I which should be a peace officer position, which is a cause for concern.

coroner investigator
The decision to hire peace officers as Medical Examiner Investigators is not arbitrary. Peace officers are trained to handle potentially dangerous and unpredictable situations and work with grieving families, law enforcement agencies, and medical professionals. They are experts in conducting thorough investigations, identifying evidence, and following proper procedures to ensure justice is served. The hiring of peace officers as Medical Examiner Investigators ensures impartiality, professionalism, and expertise in investigations. The flaw in the Cities hiring process for Medical Examiner Investigators is their 2577 Medical Examiner Investigator I position.  The current Medical Examiner Investigator I position is not a peace officer position, it does not meet the standards  of the California Government Code for Peace Officer and it does not have the same stringent screening process.  This should be fixed immediately by making the Medical Examiner Investigator I position a P.O.S.T. Basic Coroners Academy position only, meaning that Medical Examiner investigator I is only for the duration of the Basic Coroners Academy and training.  Once completed, the Medical Examiner I promotes to Medical Examiner II.

The recent incidents of theft at the San Francisco Medical Examiner’s Office have further highlighted the importance of having trained and qualified peace officers in positions of responsibility. Theft of property, including evidence or sensitive information, can compromise the integrity of investigations and lead to miscarriages of justice. The thefts at the Medical Examiner’s Office have been carried out by civilians.

Replacing peace officers with civilians in positions of responsibility may compromise the quality of investigations, and ultimately, the integrity of the justice system. Civilians may lack the training and expertise necessary to handle sensitive information and secure evidence properly.

The decision to civilianize peace officer positions risks the expertise and professionalism that peace officers bring to the role of Medical Examiner Investigator. San Francisco must prioritize the integrity of investigations by ensuring that those who conduct them are qualified and experienced peace officers. The people of San Francisco deserve the best possible investigations, and that requires qualified and experienced peace officers in positions of responsibility.

In conclusion, San Francisco must rescind it’s current practice of hiring civilian investigators its attempts to civilianize peace officer positions within the Medical Examiner’s Office. The recent incidents of theft at the Medical Examiner’s Office highlight the importance of having qualified and trained peace officers in positions of responsibility. Civilians lack the training and expertise necessary to handle sensitive information and secure evidence properly. The people of San Francisco deserve the best possible investigations, and that is only possible with trained, qualified, and experienced peace officers as Medical Examiner Investigators. It is the responsibility of the City and County of San Francisco to provide the best possible investigations for its citizens, and that requires qualified and experienced peace officers in positions of responsibility.

Ken Lomba
SFDSA President
Representing the Medical Examiner Investigators

Open Letter to SFO Director Ivar Satero

Dear Director Ivar Satero,

I am writing to you regarding the staffing of police officers at San Francisco International Airport (SFO). As you may be aware, the San Francisco Police Department (SFPD) is currently short-staffed, which means that there are fewer officers available to patrol the city and the airport. This has resulted in a flawed system where SFPD staffing at SFO is dependent on the staffing levels of police officers in the city. This has resulted in a situation where the airport is not receiving the level of police coverage it requires, which can compromise public safety.

It is clear that the current system is not working, and I would like to propose a solution that I believe will be more effective. I suggest that the airport should be patrolled by a combination of SFPD officers and San Francisco Sheriff’s Office deputy sheriffs. This would provide a more stable and reliable source of police coverage at the airport, as it would not be dependent on the staffing levels of the SFPD in the city.

To be specific, I propose that the airport be staffed 50% by SFPD officers and 50% by SFSO deputy sheriffs. This would ensure that the airport receives the necessary level of police coverage at all times, regardless of the staffing levels of the SFPD in the city. This would also enable the SFPD to better allocate their resources and focus on improving public safety in San Francisco.

I understand that this may require some changes in policies and procedures, but I believe that it is a necessary step to ensure public safety at the airport. I urge you to consider this proposal and take the necessary steps to make it a reality.

Thank you for your attention to this matter.

Sincerely,

Ken Lomba
SFDSA President
415-696-2428

SFPOA Publicly Shamed a Small Business

There have been numerous tax paying businesses closing up their San Francisco locations in recent years, as well as many small businesses/restaurants closing up shop. In addition, just days ago, the San Francisco Police Officers’ Association publicly criticized a small restaurant business for the actions of a new employee on social media.

The actions taken by SFPOA were an embarrassment to not only law enforcement unions, but to San Francisco as a whole. One wonders if it was appropriate to publicly shame a small business while they are struggling in the city; especially considering Police Chief Scott speaks of de-escalation and respect for the community in his training initiatives. Those on the SPOA board, including the Police Lieutenant leading the SFPOA, have received additional management and discrimination training – yet they chose to bully and publicly shame businesses. This could have been easily avoided with a simple phone call or meeting with the restaurant’s owner or manager. Posting their shaming on social media, tagging pizzaquaredsf, caused a flurry of national news releases; it is clear their intention was to spread their message far and wide.

SFPOA shames Pizzasquared

 

 

The San Francisco Police Officers Association has negatively impacted Pizza Squared in San Francisco.  This negative public shaming will negatively impact Pizza Squared’s business.  This can already be seen in negative online comments and Yelp reviews. The SFPOA operates unprofessionally, and it wasn’t necessary to post it on social media.

 

SFPOA’s “SFO Training” Debunked

The San Francisco Police Officers Association (SFPOA) has recently raised concerns on Twitter about advanced officer training requirements for San Francisco Deputy Sheriffs to work at the city’s airport, SFO. However, upon closer examination, it is clear that the training in question is not as difficult or time-consuming as the SFPOA suggests.

SFO Airport Police

The “training” referred to by the San Francisco Police Officer Association is the California POST Aviation Security Training, a one-week, 40-hour course available to all law enforcement officers, not just the SFPD. The course covers the history of aviation security, introduction to the airport environment, criminal threat to the aviation industry, agencies and jurisdictions involved in airport security (such as the TSA, FBI, CBP, and USSS), legal aspects of aviation security, and the responsibilities of law enforcement officers working in an airport setting.

This training is not particularly difficult, and can easily be completed by San Francisco Deputy Sheriffs to meet the requirement to work at SFO. By allowing the SFPD to shift some of the police officers currently working at the airport back to the city, it will alleviate the staffing pressures on the SFPD and allow for a more efficient use of resources.

One solution is to grandfather in any SFPD officers close to retirement at the airport, and then work with the Sheriff to create a phased staffing plan that would allow for a percentage of police officers at the airport to return to SF to patrol in the City. This phased approach would ensure a smooth transition and allow for adequate staffing at the airport while also relieving pressure on the SFPD.

In conclusion, the minimum training requirements for San Francisco Deputy Sheriffs to work at SFO are not as difficult or time-consuming as the SFPOA suggests. By allowing the SFPD to shift some of its officers back to the city, it will alleviate staffing pressures and allow for a more efficient use of resources. The SFDSA will work with the Sheriff to create a functional staffing plan and assist with recruiting to ensure a smooth transition.

SFPOA Makes Childish Attack on SFDSA

On January 14, 2023 at 8:12 PM, the San Francisco Police Officers Association (SFPOA) made a statement that was misleading and contained falsehoods. The SFPOA claimed that the San Francisco Sheriff’s Office (SFSO) cannot staff the jails, but this is not true. According to mandatory guidelines, SFSO Deputy Sheriffs are required to staff the jails.  The SFSO staffs the jails on voluntary overtime or mandated overtime. The SFSO is working to increase recruitment and reduce overtime, and has made significant progress in recruiting new Deputy Sheriffs.

The SFPOA also claimed that the SFSO lacks the training required to perform their duties. This is also untrue. The SFSO has the same POST training certifications as police officers and more. The only additional training required by the California Peace Officers Standards of Training is an Aviation Security Training course, which is only a 40 hour course. The SFPOA is presenting this as a significant hurdle, but it is not.  Additional training can be easily accomplished. See our current list of training in our article “San Francisco Deputy Sheriffs are highly trained individuals.

The SFPOA also stated that the SFSO lacks the training to respond to a terrorist attack. The SFDSA strongly disagrees with this claim. In the event of a terrorist attack, the SFPD will turn to the SFSO for assistance. The SFSO has a long history of responding to large scale emergencies such as riots, the Loma Prieto Earthquake, and forest fires. The SFSO also responded to the recent COVID-19 pandemic and worked 24/7 to protect the public.

SFPOA Childish Attack with false info

 

The San Francisco Sheriff’s Office (SFSO) has a dedicated Emergency Services Unit (ESU) that includes a Special Response Team, a Crisis Negotiation Team, and a Radio Telephone Operator Team. These teams respond to emergencies within the Department, City, and County of San Francisco, as well as mutual aid requests from other jurisdictions. The ESU also includes a Mobile Field Force (MFF) that is trained to respond to major critical incidents, including Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, and Explosive (CBRNE) devices. The MFF is led by a Platoon Commander, an Executive Officer and is divided into four squads.

The San Francisco Police Officers Association (SFPOA) has misleadingly claimed that it is not possible for Deputy Sheriffs to work at the airport. However, the SFPD arrest data at the airport is minimal, with an average of approximately 300 arrests per year, and approximately 130 SFPD officers (staffing data from 2020). Additionally, the SFPD has 27 Sergeants at the airport, which is an unusual ratio of 1 supervisor to every 5 police officers. It is clear that the level of arrests at the airport is low and it would be a misuse of City resources to have SFPD at the airport. We will provide updated data as it becomes available.

As stated on Twitter prior to the SFPOA’s misleading post, it is possible for the SFSO to staff the airport. First, we can grandfather in any PD Officer close to retirement. Second, a percentage of the police officers at the airport can return to SF to patrol. And third, the SFDSA will work with the Sheriff to create a functional staffing plan and assist with recruiting. This can be done in a phased approach, not overnight.

SFPOA Released False Info to the Public

On January 14, 2023 at 8:12 PM, the San Francisco Police Officers Association (SFPOA) released false information to the public, causing confusion and mistrust among the community. In a post on Twitter, the SFPOA attempted to dissuade the idea of Deputy Sheriffs filling police positions at the San Francisco International Airport (SFO), the Ports, and/or the Marine Unit by falsely stating that the San Francisco Sheriff’s Office (SFSO) is understaffed by 430 Deputy Sheriffs.  This is false, the Sheriffs Office is not understaffed by 430 Deputies.

SFPOA False Info to Public

The San Francisco Police Department is currently understaffed to the point where it has to send its investigators to patrol several days a week, this is a serious matter as it impacts public safety and criminal investigations (reported by Lou Barberini GBTBNews). The understaffing problem is a critical issue that needs to be addressed immediately.

Normally, law enforcement agencies work together and help each other to achieve the goal of public safety. However, it appears that the SFPOA is more interested in protecting their monopoly on law enforcement instead of keeping San Francisco safe. Public Safety does not appear to be a priority for the SFPOA, if it was, why are they working so hard to block Deputy Sheriffs from providing staffing relief at the SFO, Ports, or Marine Unit?

Allowing Deputy Sheriffs to take over those locations would allow the SFPD to redirect its police officers to the City to respond to emergencies and calls for service, thereby increasing public safety. It is essential that the SFPOA and the SFDSA work together to achieve the common goal of keeping San Francisco safe. The public deserves nothing less. The SFPOA must understand that their actions have consequences and they must be held accountable for their words and actions. The community deserves transparency and honesty from its law enforcement agencies. The SFPOA should be focused on finding solutions to improve public safety, rather than spreading false information and attacking their colleagues in law enforcement.

It is worth noting that SFDSA President Lomba, the man being attacked by the SFPOA, had spent Christmas Day with his family delivering hot meals to Deputy Sheriffs that spent their Christmas Holiday working to protect others. This shows the dedication and commitment of the SFDSA in ensuring public safety and the contrast with the SFPOA’s behavior.

OPEN LETTER TO SFPD CHIEF SCOTT – CURRENT STATE OF SFPD

Dear Chief Scott,

I am writing to express my concern about the current state of the San Francisco Police Department and to offer a potential solution to improve efficiency and increase police staffing.

As you are aware, the police department is facing mass retirements and is currently understaffed. This is a major issue, as it leaves our city vulnerable to increased crime and puts an undue burden on the remaining officers who are trying to do their best to serve and protect the community.

In order to address this issue, I believe it would be beneficial to reduce the size of the police department and turn over some functions, such as the SFO, to the San Francisco Sheriff. By reassessing the roles and responsibilities of the department, we can redirect resources towards increasing the number of police officers in San Francisco, particularly in high-need areas like the Tenderloin district.

I understand that such a change would require careful consideration and planning, but I believe it is a common sense solution that would ultimately improve public safety for San Franciscans. By streamlining the department and focusing on core functions, we can ensure that your SFPD officers are able to do their jobs more effectively and efficiently.

I also believe that turning over auxiliary functions, such as the SFO, marine unit, and port patrols, to the Sheriff’s Department makes sense. The Sheriff’s Department is equipped to handle these types of tasks, and it would free up additional resources for the SFPD to focus on crime reduction and public safety in the city.

Given the current state of public safety in San Francisco, we have concerns for the well-being of our union members who reside in the city.  I hope that you will seriously consider this proposal and take any necessary steps to make it a reality. As the leader of the SFPD, it is your responsibility to ensure that the department is functioning at its best and that our city is as safe as possible. I believe that implementing these changes would be a step in the right direction towards achieving that goal.

Thank you for your attention to this matter.

Sincerely,

Ken Lomba
SFDSA President
415-696-2428

SFDSA Files Lawsuit Against SF Sheriff

At some time prior to July 8, 2022, the City and County of San Francisco Sheriff’s Office decided to create a pilot program in County Jail #3 (“CJ3”) in housing unit 5. The San Francisco Sheriff’s Office had two employees evaluate the functionality of the program and identify any concerns they saw with the changes proposed by the Sheriff’s Office. These deputies found numerous safety concerns that made it difficult to perform the regular safety checks of the inmates in some cases and completely impossible in other cases.

Despite the safety concerns, on July 8, 2022, the changes were implemented.

CJ3 has multiple housing units that are the shape of a circle with inmate cells on the perimeter of the circle. This circle is divided into to sides, the A and B sides. Inmates from A cannot cross over to B and vice versa. On one side of the dividing line is a “Crow’s Nest” or a tower with windows that can look out over portions of both the A and B sides of the housing unit. This Crow’s Nest has previously not been used.

Prior to July 8, 2022, CJ 3 has always had 2 deputies working a general population housing unit. One each on the A and B sides. These deputies worked on the floor with the inmates.

Safety Checks are required to be done every hour. There are state laws, known as Title 15 rules, as well as a San Francisco Sheriff’s Office policy, CODM 4.04, which outline the minimum requirements for these safety checks. The purpose of the checks is to maintain safety and security in the jail for staff, visitors and the inmates. Some of the requirements of these checks include noting the skin color of the inmate, the rise and fall of the chest, movement that indicates life, looking for any signs of illness or distress, inspection of cell doors and windows and a search for any apparent contraband or hazards.

These safety checks were completed by the deputies working on the floor but walking up to each inmate cell door and observing the inmate, the cell and surrounding area. Sometimes, at night, a flashlight would be required to properly check the welfare of the inmates.

On July 8, 2022, this changed. No longer would there be any floor deputies. Now, only one deputy, instead of two, would monitor all the inmates by him/herself, from the Crow’s Nest. In the event of an emergency, the deputy in the Crow’s Nest was not to leave and assist an inmate having a medical emergency, being attacked, or attempting to harm himself, instead, the deputy is now required to call for help. Deputies who are roaming around the rest of the jail would then have to respond and handle the situation, wasting valuable time.

The San Francisco Sheriff’s Office was unable to remedy all the safety concerns raised by the two employees who evaluated the new Crow’s Nest plan. The San Francisco Sheriff’s Office administration directed Crow’s Nest deputies to utilize binoculars to assist them in seeing the inmates better. While this may help with viewing some of the inmates when the lights are on, they do little to help at night and cannot solve the problem of the inability to see some of the cells at all, with or without binoculars.

The DSA sent a letter to the San Francisco Sheriff’s Office on July 18, 2022 and it was resent to the Director of Employee Relations, on July 22, 2022. This letter demanded that the new Crow’s Nest practice stop until the parties can meet and confer over the impacts and effects of it. Numerous impacts and effects were listed in this notice.

The San Francisco Sheriff’s Office responded on July 26, 2022, refusing to maintain the status quo until the parties were able to meet and confer.

Within days of its implementation, a fight broke out in one of the cells in the evening and it was not discovered until the next morning. This is evidence of the lack of safety the DSA was concerned with when it demanded the San Francisco Sheriff’s Office cease and desist its new Crow’s Nest practice.

March 28, 2022 RFI.

On March 28, 2022, the DSA requested information necessary and relevant to ascertain the dates, times, and shifts that the San Francisco Sheriff’s Office fell below the minimum staffing required by the MOU. (Exhibit X) Arbitrator Alexander Cohen previously resolved a grievance filed by DSA when the San Francisco Sheriff’s Office previously violated the Minimum Staffing section of the MOU. Arbitrator Cohen issued his ruling in favor of the DSA in 2017 in favor of the DSA. In his decision, he awarded damages to be paid to those members who worked on shifts that were below the minimum staffing required by the MOU. Because the San Francisco Sheriff’s Office continued to fall below the minimum staffing, the DSA filed a new grievance on March 4, 2022. The RFI filed on March 28, 2022 was to gather necessary and relevant information to calculate the damages incurred by the DSA members as the result of the San Francisco Sheriff’s Office’s current grievance for again violating the MOU. (Lomba Decl. ¶ 9)

The March 28, 2022 RFI was acknowledged received by the City Attorney’s office and forwarded to the Employee Relations Division (ERD) to respond. No response from ERD was ever received. (Howell Decl. ¶ 6 and 9; Exhibit 3) On May 2, 2022, the DSA followed up with ERD and the City Attorney’s office and demanded production of the RFI by May 9, 2022, which never came. (Howell Decl. ¶ 10 and 11; Exhibit 5)

On May 13, 2022, the DSA filed a First Amended Unfair Labor Practice Charge in PERB Case No. SF-CE-1794-M to have this matter added to that current litigation. On June 7, 2022, after filing the amendment to the PERB Charge, the San Francisco Sheriff’s Office produced documents responsive to the March 28, 2022 RFI. Judge Cloughesy declined to amend the Charge and Complaint in that matter to include this RFI issue but gave leave to refile this matter with PERB.

February 16, 2022 RFI.

On February 16, 2022, the DSA requested information necessary and relevant to ascertain the names, dates, and hours of Overtime Pay DSA members were denied. Information was also requested to ascertain the history, deliberation, changes, analysis and communications regarding Administrative Code section 18.13 involving the maximum permissible overtime. This information is necessary for the DSA to enforce the contract at a grievance proceeding and is unable to establish the damages or the individual DSA members affected, without the response to the RFI.

The February 16, 2022 RFI was acknowledge received by the City Attorney’s Office on February 22, 2022, via email. (EXHIBIT XX – email from KNS to Rapoport and back) Having received no responsive documents, the DSA’s counsel sent an email on August 2, 2022 to demand production. (Exhibit XX – Email KNS to)

 


 Contact:

Ken Lomba
SFDSA President
415-696-2428
San Francisco, CA

SF JAIL HEADED FOR DISASTER

San Francisco Deputy Sheriffs have the honor of having served under the only progressive sheriff in California, Michael Hennessy. Our goal was to promote restorative justice, assist offenders into adopting law abiding lives, reduce recidivism, and improve community life.

The current Sheriff’s Department is headed for disaster. Currently, staffing of deputy sheriff’s is at 70% of what is required, and the current Sheriff has slashed programs, increased lockups (prisoners face 23 hours a day in confinement); blown holes in his budget through mandatory overtime, while increasing administration staff, non-essential programs and taken resources away from our core mission, which is running the jails. Sheriff Miyamoto claims there are 176 vacant positions and as a result inmates receive no family visits, inmates are locked in cells for longer, and all regular programs have been cut leaving only a few video/correspondence programs. Even religious services have been cut. No more Catholic services, no more Protestant services, no more Jehovah services, no Muslim services. And addiction services such as AA have been cut.

As a result, the jail’s current policies of increased lock downs and reduced programs have increased the mental health issues of inmates, imperil deputy sheriffs’ safety due to inmates taking out their increased anxieties and tensions on deputies, and cause more staffing issues by encouraging retirements and deputies to leave their jobs.

In the meantime, the Sheriff faces two class action lawsuits because the jails, ignoring Title 24, provides no outdoor access to inmates, so inmates are housed under fluorescent lights, 24/7, 365, and the Sheriff faces accusations of violating inmates’ constitutional right to sleep by forcing breakfast to wake up between 4 am and 4:30 am for breakfast. These lawsuits have the possibility of large judgements against the Sheriff’s Department.

The new DA Brooke Jenkins’ promise to increase prosecution i.e., of fentanyl pushers, as stated in her press interviews, means an increase in incarceration and we don’t have the deputy staff to properly run the jail.

To meet the needs of San Francisco, the Mayor and the Sheriff must adequately staff deputy sheriff’s, at minimum increase the staffing to the 2019 level, with additional hiring of 82 more deputy sheriffs. Recruiting and retention should be a priority and it hasn’t been. A revolving door at the jail serves the needs of no one. Properly staff our jails. Return all programs, particularly addiction treatment and anger management programs.

PROOF:
Exhibit A – staffing report for June 2022 (606 deputies, 23 senior deputies = 629, and 71 sergeants) versus July 2019 (712 sheriff’s deputies and 49 senior deputies = 759, and 57 sergeants). This shows more expensive officers increase at the expense of the line deputies who do the work.
Exhibit B – Consultant staffing analysis: Deputy vacancies are even higher than what Sheriff Miyamoto claims