NEWSOM LACKS LEADERSHIP ON PUBLIC SAFETY

BELIEVE IT OR WHAT
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BY PAT MURPHY
Sentinel Editor & Publisher
Copyright © 2007 San Francisco Sentinel

Mayor Newsom has not shown leadership on public safety of San Franciscans.

Instead, this San Francisco mayor strives for community consensus on how best to end street violence.

And sulks before neighborhood meetings when confronted with his effort leaving San Francisco streets vile, most recently before a Polk Street gathering of residents and merchants.

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Photos by Bill Wilson

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Consensus building began more than two years ago as a broad range of San Francisco elected leadership got behind movement toward community policing.

It speedily succeeded with a multiplicity of programs to assist those arrested — and even those at risk for arrest — with immediate community help to claim the propserity, security, and dignity every San Franciscan needs.

It also promised innovative police intervention to stop criminal behavior, with instant access to means for the desperate to find crime needless.

The best and brightest San Franciscans poured their lifesblood into delivering a two-pronged model that works.

Still, today’s reality is the streets are as murderous and vile as they were two years ago. This mayor’s streets have the feel of precursor 1920s Germany.

Newsom wisely insists, “I want to make sure we do this right,” to stop criminal behavior — which must be stopped first — without return to rousts and cracked skulls.

To match San Francisco enlightened view of police work, consensus effort locked in individualized policing techniques crafted for each each neighborhood and localized culture.

The Sentinel suggests this well intentioned autonomy resulted in many police districts not incorporating acceptable and proven policing which is working in the Tenderloin usherered by Police Captain Gary Jimenez.

Newsom needs to get it in his head that he is the only official with the authority and stature to actually make things happen — to actually lead.

But Newsom reacts as if returning safety to San Francisco streets is all about him, all about his performance.

Stopping the behavior which turned San Francisco streets vile is bigger than any mayor, bigger than any political career.

End your self-centered sulk, Mr. Mayor, and lead.

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PAT MURPHY
Sentinel Editor & Publisher
In his youth, Pat Murphy worked as a General Assignment reporter for the Richmond Independent, the Berkeley Daily Gazette, and the San Francisco Chronicle. He served as Managing Editor of the St. Albans (Vermont) Daily Messenger at age 21. Murphy also launched ValPak couponing in San Francisco, as the company’s first San Francisco franchise owner. He walked the bricks, developing ad strategy for a broad range of restaurants and merchants. Pat knows what works and what doesn’t work. His writing skill has been employed by marketing agencies, including Don Solem & Associates. He has covered San Francisco governance for the past ten years. Pat scribes an offbeat view of the human family through Believe It or What.

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BILL WILSON
Sentinel Photographer
Bill Wilson is a veteran freelance photographer whose work is published by San Francisco and Bay Area media. Bill embraced photography at the age of eight. In recent years, his photos capture historic record of the San Francisco LGBT community in the Bay Area Reporter (BAR). Bill has contributed to the Sentinel for the past three years.

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