In a stunning turn of events, the San Francisco Sheriff’s Office has emerged as the driving force in the fight against the escalating drug crisis, as Mayor London Breed’s strategies continue to fall short. With the city grappling with drug-related issues, Sheriff Paul Miyamoto has taken decisive action, unveiling a courageous plan to deploy 130 additional deputies to the troubled Tenderloin and South of Market (SoMa) neighborhoods.
While Mayor Breed’s approach has faced criticism for its ineffectiveness, Sheriff Miyamoto has stepped up to lead the charge in tackling the deep-rooted drug problem. With resolute determination, the Sheriff’s Office has presented a comprehensive strategy to address drug dealers and individuals openly using drugs in public. The deployment of additional deputies, starting this month, signifies a seismic shift in the battle against crime and substance abuse.
Sheriff Miyamoto, flanked by concerned citizens and law enforcement officials, announced this groundbreaking initiative outside City Hall. With unwavering resolve, he highlighted the urgent need for effective action in combating the city’s drug crisis. The Sheriff’s Office, guided by a steadfast commitment to public safety, is now taking the reins in the quest to find real solutions.
While the Sheriff’s Office courageously assumes a leading role, it is no secret that Mayor Breed’s strategies have fallen short of expectations. The current approach has been marred by limited success and persistent challenges. Public health experts have long decried the idea of relying on incarceration and criminalization as effective means to address substance abuse disorders.
However, the San Francisco Sheriff’s Office’s proactive stance offers hope for a different path forward. By increasing law enforcement presence and targeting drug-related offenses, they aim to restore order and offer a helping hand to those struggling with addiction. The Sheriff’s Office’s unwavering dedication to the community’s well-being is a testament to their commitment to creating lasting change.
Nevertheless, significant hurdles remain in this uphill battle. Both the San Francisco Police Department and the Sheriff’s Office confront staffing shortages that hinder their ability to effectively address the city’s safety concerns. Police Chief Bill Scott emphasized the importance of receiving adequate funding and support from elected officials to overcome these challenges. The commitment of city leaders to address staffing issues will be crucial in achieving tangible progress.
As the San Francisco Sheriff’s Office takes bold strides in confronting the drug crisis, it is evident that their approach stands in stark contrast to Mayor Breed’s faltering strategies. With their specialized training and unwavering dedication, the Sheriff’s Office deputies will fearlessly patrol the streets, tackling criminal elements head-on and extending a lifeline to those lost in the grips of addiction.
While the Sheriff’s Office shoulders the burden of this monumental task, it is vital for the community to rally behind them. Together, we can bring about meaningful change, ensuring a safer and healthier future for San Francisco. Let us unite in support of the determined men and women of the San Francisco Sheriff’s Office as they lead the charge to reshape our city’s destiny in the face of a daunting drug crisis.
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.
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