City and County of
San Francisco
Office of the Sheriff
Established 1850
August 7, 2020 San Francisco Sheriff's Office Newsletter Issue 76
A Message from Sheriff Paul Miyamoto
Budget and Election Seasons Overlap This Year
Dear Friends,

Hello everyone and I hope that our latest newsletter finds you safe and well. As we all deal with the challenges of COVID-19, our budget season is reaching its crescendo next week when the Board of Supervisors convenes for hearings. Budget season usually precedes election season, but because of delays caused by COVID-19, they will overlap.
 
The effects of the pandemic have decimated the city’s tax revenues. We have answered the Mayor’s call to reduce our budget by offering $21.5 million in cuts, an 8.5 percent overall budget reduction. 
New Ballot Measure Seeks Sheriff's Oversight
As the Sheriff’s Office prepares to do less with less while fulfilling our mission to protect public safety, the Board of Supervisors has added a measure to the November 2020 ballot that, if approved by voters, would create a Sheriff’s Department Oversight Board and Sheriff’s Department Office of Inspector General. The new bureaucracy’s purpose would be to investigate complaints of non-criminal misconduct by Sheriff's Office staff.

The price tag: $3 million.

Notably, the measure does not include money for new Sheriff’s Department positions to manage data collection and the reporting process. More concerning, it duplicates what we already have in place for independent investigations into complaints against staff.

I support more transparency. I support more accountability. I support a community advisory board.

  • This is why, since last year, we’ve turned misconduct cases to a third-party investigator, the Department of Police Accountability, and are expanding our agreement with them.
 
  • This is why if there is a death in custody, we immediately call the police, District Attorney and medical examiner to the scene to begin their independent investigations.
 
  • This is why we are forming a Sheriff’s Citizen Advisory Board to provide crucial feedback and address cultural competency and unconscious bias issues.
Wasteful Bureaucracy During a Pandemic
I do not support more wasteful bureaucracy. My feelings are especially acute during a pandemic when the Sheriff's Office is being asked to do less with less and our City's recovery remains highly uncertain. 

While I have not been a year in office, I believe I have built trust and confidence in my leadership for being inclusive, sensitive and responsive to many voices. We have worked with the Mayor, Board of Supervisor members, criminal justice partners and advocates on advancing reforms including the early closure of County Jail #4 which begins this month. 

I have also worked to hold staff accountable for misconduct and unprofessional behavior. Sometimes these processes lead to challenges from those being held accountable, and allegations of treatment that will have to play out in arenas outside the workplace.

During a recent Board of Supervisors meeting, this department was celebrated as the leader among City’s public safety agencies for our long history of employing people from diverse backgrounds. 

As a 24-year member of this department and the first Asian-American Sheriff in San Francisco history, I am proud to be part of this rich history and lead the Sheriff's Office during this pivotal time. 
VIDEO: Five-Alarm Blaze Damages SFSO Division Building
A massive five-alarm fire on 14th Street in San Francisco on July 28 damaged six buildings, including one of the Sheriff's Office buildings. The early morning fire spread quickly from building to building, over a two-block range.

All SFSO personnel safely evacuated the location and were not harmed. One firefighter suffered injuries from the fire.There were no casualties.

Building repairs began Monday, August 3. PG&E replaced the power pole August 6 and anticipates having power back on in our location by late next week.

We are grateful to the San Francisco Fire Department for their quick response to the fire. Our operations were temporarily impacted, but we moved them to alternate locations within a few hours and resumed business. 

We will be able to return soon to 14th Street because of SFFD's heroic efforts. Please watch the video below.
VIDEO: Update on COVID-19 Positive Cases Among Staff, Incarcerated Persons
COVID-19 cases surged again in the Bay Area during July. The Sheriff's Office saw a reflection of that among our staff and new arrestees who we test at booking. Please watch the video below for an update.

In the meantime, protect yourself against COVID-19 exposure and control the spread of the virus. Wear your facial mask (over your nose and mouth), keep six feet of physical distancing between you and others; and wash your hands frequently for at least 20 seconds at time.
VIDEO: Budget Cuts Support Community Investments
Everyone is concerned about budget cuts caused by COVID-19. We're entering a new, leaner era where everyone must adjust and help each other through this challenging time.

Please watch the video below for an update from Sheriff's Miyamoto on how Mayor London Breed's budget impacts the Sheriff's Office.
Information: 415-554-7225
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