SF Marina’s citizens are getting private cops amid worrying crime situation

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Worrying about their safety from crime, an increasing number of San Francisco Marina District’s private residents are getting private cops.

A private cop has been having more clients recently as car window-smashing incidents increase, as well as burglaries and robberies are reported across the Marina District, KRON4 reported.

“This year, I’ve gotten a lot more calls and a lot more emails and increased clients people in the marina a basically scared about what’s going on they see your TV radio reports on social media and they don’t feel safe in their neighborhoods so that’s why I have been contacted,” Patrol Service Police Officer Alan Byard said. 

Byard patrols Marina through his vehicle or sometimes by foot usually from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. seven days per week. This area is on top of his patrol duty on parts of Pacific Heights and Cow Hollow.

Since the 1850s, patrol special police officers are part of the city charter and share the same uniform with the San Francisco Police Department. They can also make arrests, and are not the same with private security.

According to Byard, he gained an addition of 50 to 60 private clients since the pandemic, and now he has 165 clients in total. Each of them are giving him a monthly $65 payment to assure safety against suspicious activities.

One of the people who hires private cops is Rick Smith who was once an FBI agent and now a private investigator.

“You have to do what you have to do in San Francisco right now. The district attorney is unable or unwilling to prosecute almost anyone, so we thought we had to do something for ourselves,” Smith said.

“Property crimes like car burglaries cost victims time, money, and their sense of security, and the DA’s Office takes these crimes seriously. They often happen fast, making it hard for the police to catch those who commit these crimes,” a DA office’s spokesperson said.