The recent proposal to close half of the city’s police stations isn’t the first time such a thing has been recommended here. A group of consultants from the East Coast released a report, or “police effectiveness review,” May 14 that suggested cutting the list of 10 police districts in the city down to five and placing specialized units, like gang and drug task forces, in the stations closed by the district realignment.
It also said that the northeast and middle sections of the city have high concentrations of crime and need a greater police presence. The Central and Southern stations need to be rebuilt immediately and the remaining eight stations aren’t being used effectively, according to the report. Plus, the workload isn’t fairly distributed. You can imagine that there’s probably a difference between chasing murderers in the Mission and stalking illegally parked import cars in the Marina.
But Guardian editor Tim Redmond reminded me recently that a similar proposal to close down several neighborhood police stations was made back in the early ‘70s, so I called Rene Cazenave of the local Council of Community Housing Organizations who Tim said might remember some of the finer points. Sure enough, despite Casenave insisting that his memory was hazy, he did remember quite a lot.