Checking In On Security At The Haight & Stanyan McDonald's

As locals well know, the Stanyan Street entrance to Golden Gate Park, and adjacent McDonald's, has long had a reputation as a local hotspot for drug deals and minor violence.

As a notorious gathering spot for shady doings, the intersection has seen its share of action. Back in 2013, a dog that bit a police officer was shot and killed and a man was critically injured in a stabbing, and just last week a man was sent to the hospital after a dispute over marijuana. Even the presence of the McDonald's at the corner is prone to stirring debate among neighbors and residents.

But what's the extent of the restaurant's responsibility to provide additional security?

Earlier this month at new Park Station Captain John Sanford's first SFPD community meeting, residents raised more questions about the activity at the corner of Haight and Stanyan, particularly in light of the recent change of police captains.

Vallie Brown, legislative aide to Supervisor Breed, said that during Capt. Raj Vaswani's tenure at Park Station, he had been working with the owner of that McDonald's location, C. C. Yin, before his transfer to Bayview. Breed was focusing on working with Yin particularly because he also owns the nearby McDonald's franchise at Fillmore and Golden Gate, which also sees its share of action.

"Captain Vaswani was working with the McDonald's owner," Brown said, "providing him with recommendations regarding security. Supervisor Breed is very concerned about any illegal activity and wants to ensure the SFPD addresses it with any resources available to them."

The Haight and Stanyan McDonald's, according to employees, currently does not retain a private security service. It keeps only one exterior door unlocked at a time: the parking lot entrance until 9pm, and the Haight Street entrance from 9pm to 11pm.

Regarding whether a private security service has been or would be in the works, Yin was vague. "The safety and security of our employees and customers are our highest priority," he said in an email, "and we continue to work closely with the staff, the SF police, and outside security to assure that we always provide a welcoming environment that is safe, friendly, and secure for everyone in our community."

Regarding when the last time the restaurant had employed private security, the manager on duty told us, "I have no idea." Whole Foods, across the street, does employ a private security service: a security guard was memorably stabbed in the arm last year by a would-be shoplifter.

Asked if additional security force on the McDonald's corner would help the Park Station, Capt. Sanford said, "Security is always helpful to reinforce general 'Good Neighbors' policies and practices."

We'll let you know when and if security and crime prevention tactics in the area evolve.

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