Issue:  Vol. 48 / No. 12 / 22 March 2018

D8 candidate is Muni crime victim

“Who is this?” is a question Rafael Mandelman, a candidate running to be the next District 8 supervisor, has been asking lately. The reason: someone stole his cell phone last week while he was riding Muni.


“They just grabbed it out of my hands,” said Mandelman (at left), who had yet to report the crime when interviewed Friday by the Bay Area Reporter.

Yet the man his wants to succeed on the board, Bevan Dufty, is looking to hear from people who have been crime victims while riding the city’s mass transit system.

This morning Dufty is holding a hearing on the police’s bus inspection program, where officers ride various Muni lines on the lookout for criminal activity, and has asked people who have been victims of crimes to testify. [The hearing begins at 11 a.m. in Room 250 of City Hall.]

The hearing comes after the city has seen high-profile assaults of two young riders on bus lines in the Mission and a fight between an Asian and African American female riders on another bus line was captured on video and posted to YouTube by another rider.

In an e-mail Dufty sent out to constituents last week, he wrote that the purpose of the hearing is to determine which Muni routes the police should be focusing their resources and time patrolling.

“For two years, I have publicly called upon SFPD to honor its 2001 Memorandum of Agreement with Muni assuring that beat officers will ride the system 2-4 times per shift. Our new Chief, George Gascon, has been responsive to these concerns and urged that we more directly focus officer time on those lines that have reported crime,” wrote Dufty, who chairs the San Francisco County Transportation Authority. “It appears that Monday’s hearing prompted Muni and SFPD to renegotiate the MOU to agree to deploy resources based on crime analysis, community complaints and driver concerns. This approach is consistent with Chief Gascon’s commitment to COMPSTAT and other data-driven policing and problem solving. I’m pleased with any effort that is real and results in a safer Muni.”

COMPSTAT is a new computer system that the chief has implemented that can pinpoint crime hotspots in the city’s police districts using real-time data. Dufty praised Gascon’s recent promotion of John Murphy as Deputy Chief for Muni and the Municipal Transportation Authority, noting “John has a strong background in patrol.”

In his e-mailed newsletter, Dufty also commended Ingleside Captain David Lazar for piloting the effort for officers to use Translink in their inspection rides “so we generate data and accountability.”

According to Dufty, Lazar put the pilot project to the test November 4 by deploying more than 100 officers citywide in Operation Safe Muni. During the period from 1 to 8:30 p.m. officers issued 500 citations, primarily for fare evasion, and also arrested five individuals on serious warrant violations, according to the email.

“Hopefully SFPD and Muni are now establishing a program that provides effective police presence to support the Proof of Payment Officers and other initiatives to make our system safe and pleasant for riders,” wrote Dufty.

As for Mandelman, no word on whether he would testify before the City Operations and Neighborhood Services Committee’s hearing today.

While he was able to transfer his phone number to a new phone, the theft is causing some hassles as he campaigns for District 8 supervisor. He lost countless contacts for people and has to rebuild his database of phone numbers.

So for those waiting to hear (back) from him, he may just not have your phone number.

— Matthew S. Bajko, November 23, 2009 @ 11:54 am PST
Filed under: Uncategorized

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