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Meet Raj Vaswani, Park Station's New Police Captain

Photo: Jorge Dalmau/Flickr
By Amy Stephenson - Published on July 15, 2014.
After a graceful exit by Captain Corrales back in May, we've been waiting to hear from our new Captain Raj Vaswani. Now, after their community meeting last week, Captain Vaswani has spoken up about his new position as Park Station commander.
He's got over 20 years in the force at Potrero Station, Southern Station and Northern Station, in all kinds of different positions. Notably, he's worked in a street crime undercover unit, which we imagine will come in handy around here. He was also recently the city's Night Captain, which sounds like his superhero identity, but actually just means he "managed in-progress incidents and nightclub-related deployment of officers."

You might have seen him making some rounds in the past few weeks. He stopped in to meet business owners along Haight to "get a feel for the regular locations," and he'll make his way to Cole Valley and Divisadero in the coming weeks. He's already used info gleaned from local merchants to have his officers execute a round of plainclothes drug dealing busts around the Haight and the park. 

Other than that, he's been busy arresting the suspect in the Alvord Lake shooting. He clarified that the victim did know the shooter, and that they found a gun and meth in the suspect's apartment. He says they also arrested a suspect in the robbery of Cafe Abir on Fulton. Generally, he seems upbeat and optimistic about his stint in our notorious neighborhood. From Vaswani's announcement:

I look forward to serving your needs as the Captain of Park Station. I have already reached out to some of the businesses, organizations, and Supervisors that represent the Park District...  I’m a strong believer that the police are a part of the fabric of the community, but the neighborhood groups, merchants associations, residents, and visitors also play an important part in our success; I intend to continue having a positive collaborative relationship with the community!

If you want to meet him in person, you can head to National Night Out, a community event at Park Station on Tuesday, August 5th. Captain Vaswani will be there to meet with the public, and it sounds like a decidedly kid-friendly affair, too:

Don't come for me, come for the stickers, the cool police cars, which make a great photo-op for you and your kids. Personally I think cop car photos also make really good Facebook photos to show your friends you are cool with the coolest police department in America!

You can check out more about National Night Out (and register) over here.

This news will have to hold us over until Park Station's notorious Hot Cop comes back to the neighborhood. He told SFist yesterday that he might be stationed in the Castro until early October, or whenever their massive construction project is completed. 

Until then,  welcome, Captain Vaswani! Though it's too soon to tell whether his newsletter updates be as entertaining as Captain Corrales', you can follow him on Twitter here
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