08/17/05 05-078

08/17/05 05-078


August 17, 2005

Subject:     Chief Fong Issues Key Recommendations After Review of July 8 Demo

In response to the July 8 anti-war demonstration in which a demonstrator ambushed and severely injured an officer, San Francisco Police Chief Heather Fong conducted a review to strengthen officer and citizen safety and establish policy recommendations.  “As Chief, it is my responsibility to take action and to do everything I can to prevent an incident like this from happening again,” she said.  “I have zero tolerance for this kind of behavior,” she added, “and I want to assure you that the investigation into this attack is ongoing and the persons responsible for these crimes will be apprehended and prosecuted.”  The key strategies identified to increase officer and citizen safety, many of which are in the process of implementation, are:

  • Prior to the event, develop contingency plans to respond to situations that may arise during the demonstration and communicate these plans at the event briefing.
  • Expand and enhance unit level training in crowd control and crowd management.
  • Ensure that event commanders and assistant event commanders have established an “event command” and are  aware of the overall scenario, the availability of resources and the location of splinter groups.  Ensure that there are constant updates for proper deployment of resources.
  • Mandatory possession of helmets and batons by all officers working in districts where there may be  a need for crowd control or crowd management.
  • Ensure that all officers working in a district, whether assigned to a squad or to patrol duties, are aware of the  specifics of any demonstration or special event during their shift.  Squad leaders and platoon commanders shall ensure that they continuously update the incident commanders during the demo.
  • Ensure that police supervisors and incident commanders provide status updates to each other to allow for any  change in deployment.
  • When dispatch assigns a district unit to a call for service in the vicinity of the demo, or assigns a call that may  be related to the demo, those officers shall use the police radio to announce when they have arrived at the scene.
  • Follow up on the request to the City Attorney to explore the feasibility of requiring permits for marches and  demonstrations on city streets.
  • Seek funding for in-car cameras to help capture evidence of crimes in any situation.

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