Fillmore / Lower Fillmore Neighborhood Association (F/LFNA)
MEETING MINUTES –
Safe Neighborhood Events Summary & Meeting Minutes
Notes from Panel Discussion on
07-21-11 general meeting of F/LFNA.
· Panel Members: Jocelyn Kane from the Entertainment Commission; Officer Barron from SFPD; Fourlishous Wyatt from SF SAFE; Shell Thomas from Mayor’s Office of Economic & Workforce Development and Leslie Howard from the Community Response Network (CRN).
· Presenters: Erris Egerly presented on behalf of Juneteenth, Melonie Green co-producer of Independent Artists Week; Shanell Williams producer of S.F. Dub Fest; Pia co-producer of S.F. Reggae Festival and manager of Gussies Chicken & Waffles. Also information gained from other local event producers, residents and stake-holder who gave public comment.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
2) Crime Prevention through Event Design
3) Understanding the Role of SFPD
4) Responsibility of Security Officers
5) Community Chaperones an underutilized resource!
6) Community Engagement
7) The Truth About Event Producers
8) The difference between the Juneteenth Festival and Jazz Festival
9) Safety Resource in the Western Addition
10) T-Train Police involved shooting
11) Misc Questions
One of the key reasons that empowered this neighborhood association to host the panel discussion on “Safe Neighborhood Events” is the huge and unexpected success of the Juneteenth Festival 2011. The good things far out weighed the challenges thus creating a perfect model and starting point for a constructive dialogue to create a check-list of safety tips and best practices to remember when planning events in residential and urban neighborhoods.
Planned events like festivals, parties and family barbeques should be thought off in the same light as unplanned events like seeing people at the corner store, children playing on their front steps or riding s bike through a neighborhood. The reason being is the same environmental factors that impact one event, impact all events in a given community. A positive, smart and watchful attitude is the winning recipe for successful events of all sizes.
This summary report recognizes that 99% of both the civilian community and the police force are made-up of hard working and law abiding people, but the 1% tries to ruin it for everyone.
Very special thanks to all the panelists, presenters and the public who shared information used to create this document.
Special thanks to Captain Mannix of Northern Police Station who provided officer for the association meeting and panel discussion as well as being a bridge between residents working to improve their neighborhood.
2) Crime Prevention through Event Design
a) Best Practices:
· Strategic access and movement within the event can help prevent negative situations from occurring. Create a smooth flow and comfortable movement within the event.
· Fun and enriching activities for young people and non-profit tabling should be placed strategically and directly in areas that have the highest population of young people and families, or where young people congregate.
b) Things to Consider:
· Social activities often work together with food/retail vendors to promote business sales for the vendors. On the other hand the placement of activities in strategic areas can engage young people and create a peaceful environment. How does one create balance?
c) Reflecting on Juneteenth Festival:
· At the Juneteenth Festival a children’s petting zoo is set-up near
Geary Street instead of close to McAllister Street where a high concentration of children and families live. Does this make a difference? Would seeing children having fun including younger siblings and neighbors motivate the few that are knuckle heads to be on their best behavior or act as mediators and ambassadors? Creating more engaging and enriching activities for teenagers and young adults and creating opportunities for them to be a part of the planning process will builds ownership and accountability thereby compelling the younger community to contribute to the safety and success of a given event.
· The Rap stage at Juneteenth located on Fillmore & McAllister Street was a big hit but was there a missed opportunity to educate the audience about what Juneteenth means historically and relate it to the current struggle of disenfranchised communities in
. Whether planed or not, many of the rappers delivered positive messages in between well produced songs, even though some of the lyrics seemed anti-social. San Francisco
· Several residents whether planned or unplanned gave uplifting messages to the audience using the stage and microphone to promote a peaceful and beneficial day.
3) Understanding the Role of SFPD during Event
· There is confusion about the role of police officers as it relates to neighborhood events. Typically the SFPD protect the perimeter or outside of an event.
· Everyday each Police Station prints out a spread-sheet regarding the day’s activities to look for. Event producers should inform the local police Captain of a planed event in a reasonable time-frame as a courtesy, especially when one is requesting the assistance of the SFPD.
· There are many things that the SFPD do right. Some things they do right, but should do more of it. There are also challenges and areas where growth is needed. There is a high ethical and moral standard rightfully placed on peace officers and when they break the rules the impact is magnified.
b. Community Concerns:
· There is a concern about the cultural competency of some of the officers because so many did not grow up in the Fillmore or reflect the cultural or economic make-up of the neighborhood. A group of youth with baggy pants walking down the street could be the average good natured teen, but the fear is that some officers sees the baggy pants and automatically assumes the worst which creates negative tension between the officer, police and community.
· While only a small number of police officers use racial profiling and excessive force in the SFPD the lack of police officers coming forward to report these abuses make some civilians think that the “Blue Code” or the code of silence still exists.
· The Police Commission and SFPD is not stepping up and doing its best to prevent violence. The police know who the violent people are and have the force to prevent violence. There are only a few hot spots and pathways in the Fillmore neighborhood in particular and the police should be monitoring those areas and the houses of violent individuals. The SFPD should make their presence known at events and in the community that they are here to prevent violence and will monitor strategically as often as needed to prevent shootings.
· More people should join their local neighborhood association to help solve problems that do not require the police department, incarceration or the use of force.
· When the SFPD are needed there should be community advocates that are alerted (when possible) to the scene to monitors the police to ensure the proper handling of people if arrests or police contact is needed.
· Local Police Stations should continue to meet with local event producers and create safety plans that provide officers when able in cases where there is a significant community benefit but limited funds.
· There should be a line of communication between the event producer, security and the local police station on the day of the event.
· Police Officers should make their presence known at neighborhood events in a coordinated way with the producer and security, even if it is a quick walk-through or having a parked police car near the entrance of the event.
· Police officers that patrol the neighborhood during an event should get out of their cars and engage in a positive ways with young people, especially with those that have a history of violence to let them know they are out to prevent violence and do not want to have to make arrests.
· Contracting police officers is often too expensive; there should be a sliding scale to secure officers for important events with limited budgets.
· The Police Commission should explore its current policing strategy and explain why the “Broken Windows” approach is still in effect after more than ??? years of failure. The current policing policies are playing into the increase in violence and juvenile delinquency. This is happening because funds are being drained from schools and youth services to imprison petty criminals. The police focusing on non-violent crimes like small-time crack dealers, car thefts and graffiti have not netted the big results that were promised. The original goal of the “War on Drugs” that began in ???? was for the petty crime arrests to lead to the bigger fish through information gathering. This never happened, thus helping to bankrupt the state and public education, while illegal drugs, guns and human trafficking move freely in
. San Francisco
· The Police Commission should hold a hearing on the subject of “Excessive Use of Force by Officers” and hear feedback from the SFPD and community on the subject.
4) Responsibility of Security Officers
· The Security Officers typically protect and secure the inside of an event. Once people leave the event they become the responsibility of the SFPD. This doesn’t necessarily mean the event producer is not liable for actions that take place outside of the event.
· There should be one security officer per 100 people.
· Security teams for mid & large-scale teen events should have staff that are original from the community and have the respect of attendees and party-goers.
· There should be a line of communication between the security officers inside and the SFPD on the outside.
· There should be a contingency plan-of-action for how to respond to fights and drunks that happen inside the event to safely separate people who are hurting each other and safely removing people from the event with no or minimal interruption to the event.. All done in coordination with SFPD so once the individual(s) are removed from the event the police are there to take over if needed. The event producer should have security or chaperones monitor the handling of partygoers by the police.
· Event Producers understand the laws as it relates to what Security can or can not do, including what situations allow for citizens arrests, detaining people and breaking up fights.
5) Community Chaperones an Underutilized Resource
a. Best Practices:
· “The best people to control us are us” is a powerful quote from a local event producer who attended the meeting. The benefit of growing up in a neighborhood and having relationships and the respect of young people, and those that are misguided can not be taught or learned. Having authentic and original people from the community that are part of the security team can help spot and address potential negative situations before they actually occur and can diffuse situations quickly when they do happen.
· Community Chaperones should be activated months before the event to do outreach in the community to make young people and adults feel like they are part of the event and have a sense of ownership. But the responsibility of the event producer is to have real activities or incentives for Chaperones to promote. A small $25-$50 stipend to pay youth to set up or break down or donating food/retail booth to a local family to monitor a certain area can go a long way.
· Not all community leaders are good Community Chaperones. And not all good Community Chaperones have relationships with all the young people and adults from a particular area. A team of chaperons should be created that collectively have an impact and respect of young people and adults throughout the Fillmore and a particular community.
· If a security company is hired, part of the contract should be to hire one or two community chaperones to be a part of the team. That way if the chaperone gets injured on the job there is insurance to pay for hospital bills. Also this will inspire more people to volunteer because they know their big hearts will not be taken for granted.
6) Community Engagement
- Best Practices
· Young people from the community should be involvement in all events.
· Event producers should go and talk to young people.
· Event producers should go door-to-door in neighborhoods.
· The Fillmore is changing and people who are original to the neighborhood are not being involved in events, hiring, networking and volunteering from the community will go a long way. Hire locally think globally.
7) The Truth About Event Producers
- Event producers are not millionaires and often do events for a community good and to benefit local business versus personal financial gain.
- There should be a relationships, dialogue and respect among local event producers.
- There are a lot of costs associated with producing an event including insurance, private security, venue space and more.
8) The Difference between Juneteenth Festival and Jazz Festival
· What is the difference between the Juneteenth Festival and the Jazz Festival of 2011? There is very little difference between the two. They both were successful and drew large crowds. They both had good music, food, products and social activities.
· There is one thing that people saw at the Juneteenth Festival that they did not see at the Jazz Festival: police chasing young black youth around and fights between groups of young people.
· Neither Juneteenth Festival nor Jazz Festival had a lot of fun and enriching things for local teenagers and young men and women to do. The food and merchandize were too expensive for the average teen or families who have more bills than funds.
· Another difference between the two is Juneteenth Festival is going on its 62nd year. Many local young people identify with Juneteenth as a place for them. There were hundreds of young people at the event and except for a dozen; they all were on their best behavior. The problem is youth come to the event and even though there is socializing there is not much else to do. People are standing around talking or listening to performers at the Rap stage. This creates a need for excitement. There is already an expectation for a fight to break out and there are knuckle heads that are willing to deliver. If the community and young people are an active part of producing an event and feel a sense of ownership then people who are usually getting into trouble become leaders and a positive influence because they typically will not want to mess it up for everyone.
9) Safety Resources in the Western Addition
Publicly Funded Entities
Mo’ MAGIC: Mo’ MAGIC is a community convener of non-profit organizations and service providers for children, youth and young adults. This can be the first place to start when looking for resources, referrals or technical assistance for your event or community project.
Community Response Network (CRN):
SFPD: The Police Department protects and serves. Call 911 for all emergency situations. Email the SFPD 90 days before your planned event if you are looking for extra support. The police department typically charges ?? per hour for off-duty officers to work your event. If you can show that your event has a significant community benefit but there are limited funds the station captain sometimes assigns on-duty officers to your event. This usually occurs on a case-by-case bases and who is the squeaky wheel. Persistence pays off. Ultimately the Police Department functions under the direction of the Mayor’s Office and governed through the Board of Supervisors. You may need to contact the local district supervisor or Mayor’s representative for the area of your event. Plead your case! Why should you get police officers at your event and for free? If the City officials agree with you it will go a long way to achieve your goal. At the very minimal the SFPD will put the event on its radar and open a line of communication during the event.
SF SAFE: This organization provides up-to-date public safety materials, training and sometimes technical assistance. For maximum support call 90 days before your planned event when possible.
Non-publicly Funded Entities
Brothers For Change, Inc: Multi-purpose family resource for fathers re-entering their children’s lives and support for men leaving the penal system or drug culture. Currently advocating for the development of an Ambassadress Program that trains and hires local residents to be chaperones and guides for the Fillmore commercial corridor, general community and local events. Call for general consulting on community events and projects. Services provided on a sliding scale.
Fillmore / Lower Fillmore Neighborhood Association:
Local Residents: There are 100s of local residents, parents, youth and professionals who do small and big things everyday to make the community safe. This is where you find your chaperones, security add-ons and other talent. Don’t rule out going door-to-door.
These are the people that every successful event producer need to connect to. Going door-to-door is the best approach or work with someone who has. Most importantly this is where you find your chaperones and security add-ons for your event.
10 T-Train Death
- Where SFPD officers working to prevent fair evasion or where they called or at the scene by change?
- Is fair evasion a priority for SFPD in Bayview?
- Who are the informants that helped SFPD find the gun taken from the scene of the fair evader death in Bayview?
11) Misc. Questions
- What are the current policing priorities for Northern and Park Stations?
- Is there a code of silence in the SFPD?
- Is there a code of silence in the community?
- What is the purpose of racial profiling? Who is the impact of racial profiling?
- What caused excessive use of force by SFPD officers?
- Hold a hearing about excessive use of force?
- Police officers should be neutral.
- What is screening process for SFPD
- SFPD 99% great and 1% Bad