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SF Sheriff’s union calls for help from state National Guard

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The demand, in a letter to the sheriff, the mayor and the president of the board of supervisors, cited escalating prisoner violence and injuries to deputies and civilians who work in the jails.

Ken Lomba, the president of the San Francisco Deputy Sheriffs' Association said in a letter: "In 2023 alone, there were 240 reported incidents of prisoner fights, representing a 58 percent increase from the previous year."

In addition to serving as jail guards, deputies provide security to city hall and county courts.

Lomba said the National Guard could temporarily supplement current staffing levels.

He added, in the letter posted on the union's website: "Their presence is crucial to provide immediate relief and enhance the safety and security of our facilities for all personnel and inmates."

The jail's inmate population stood at 1,137 as of Friday, according to the sheriff's department's website.

An announcement on the website on Saturday said visits to inmates by members of the community and parent-child visits were cancelled through Monday.

The county operates jails in downtown San Francisco and in San Bruno, in San Mateo County.

Sunni M. Khalid is a veteran of more than 40 years in journalism, having worked in print, radio, television, and web journalism.