New Focus On Troubled Haight Intersection Paying Off, Say Police

New Focus On Troubled Haight Intersection Paying Off, Say Police
Photo: JBlackburn/Flickr
By Camden Avery - Published on May 31, 2017.

In Park Station's May 26 newsletter, Officer Lily Prillinger documented the station's recent efforts to combat violence at the troubled Haight and Stanyan intersection.

Called a "fixed post" strategy," station Capt. John Sanford, Jr. assigned a permanent police presence to the corner in February to deter illegal behavior. Police use fixed posts at locations like City Hall or San Francisco Airport to keep areas under constant supervision.

Just a few hundred feet from Park Station's back yard, Alvord Lake has for years remained a hotspot for violence; last year, a man was beaten to death by multiple suspects; in February, a teenager struck in the head with a skateboard received life-threatening injuries.

In the newsletter, Prillinger characterized Alvord Lake as a place where "runaways and transient youth ... become swept away by the powerful undertow of addiction and self-destruction."

Prillinger said increased police visibility and foot patrols have been a success; despite the station's staffing shortage, crime near Alvord Lake has "substantially diminished" after officers issued 30 illegal behavior citations.

The station's effort coincides with the City Attorney's declaration that the McDonald's at Haight and Staynan fulfilled its obligation to prevent crime in the area, leaving any remaining improvements up to the city. Before the restaurant took action, SFPD responded to more than 1,100 calls there in a three-year period.

We spoke to a few area residents to ask if they'd noticed a change in atmosphere near Haight and Stanyan. "I don't see the difference," said one woman who regularly shops in the area. "Then again, I try to spend as little time over here as I can."

Have you noticed an improvement at Alvord Lake?  Tell us in the comments.