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New law to allow San Francisco sheriff deputies to work security in stores

 San Francisco sheriff vehicle
Caleb O
Flickr / Creative Commons
San Francisco sheriff vehicle

In a 7-3 vote, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors approved an ordinance to  allow sheriff deputies to provide a law enforcement presence in local businesses. This comes amid growing concerns over smash-and-grab retail theft and San Francisco Police Department staffing shortages.

Currently, only San Francisco Police Department officers are allowed to work as security guards at private businesses.

San Francisco police chief Bill Scott said, “The fact of the matter is the San Francisco Police Department was unable to meet the demand for what was asked for us. And now we have partners from the SF Sheriff's Department,". 

Supervisor Hillary Ronen, who voted against the legislation, questioned whether the new ordinance was an effective use of resources given the staffing shortage of sheriff deputies.

According to Supervisor Ahsha Safai, who authored the legislation, sheriff deputies would only be allowed to work as security guards during overtime hours. In addition, this new legislation would not impact their regular law enforcement duties.

Safai added that there will be an emphasis on placing deputies at Union Square, but every part of San Francisco will be available.