As Minneapolis Fails to Defund Police, San Francisco Neighborhood Looks to Hire Its Own

While Minneapolis rejected an effort to replace its police department with a Department of Public Safety, residents of a San Francisco town have discussed plans to hire their own private security patrol.

On Tuesday, voters in Minneapolis voted against an effort to replace the city's police department, which was initially prompted following the death of George Floyd at the hands of former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin. The effort also would have removed staffing requirements for law enforcement in the city.

Following Floyd's death, a number of other cities across the nation made similar calls to defund police departments.

However, in San Francisco, one town has recently discussed the idea of hiring a private security patrol force amid an increase in crimes.

According to KNTV in California's Bay Area, residents of San Francisco's Russian Hill neighborhood recently met to discuss ways to combat the rise in crime, including the hiring of a private security force. KNTV reported that one person at the meeting on Tuesday night mentioned that people come to San Francisco to commit crimes as they believe they won't face repercussions.

While speaking with KNTV, Russian Hill resident, Alan Kutzenko, explained that he has noticed a lot of broken glass around the town as "cars are just constantly broken into."

"There have been a number of package robberies. It's actually rampant.… I have a few women friends and they are very uncomfortable and nervous at night," Kutzenko told the local news station.

While residents of the Russian Hill neighborhood recently met to discuss the possibility of hiring its own security force, some residents in the nearby Marina District have already hired a private security force in an effort to combat rising crime.

According to KPIX-TV in San Francisco, several Marina District residents have recently hired patrol special officer Alan Byard as a private security consultant.

"It's a nice area down here, people are afraid of what's been going on," Byard told KPIX-TV in October. "They want a safe place to raise their kids. In the last year, I've had 10 of my clients move out of the city."

KPIX-TV reported that patrol special officers, like Byard, operate as private patrols but are overseen by the local police commission.

One Marina District resident, Katie Lyons, told KPIX-TV that "We don't feel safe in our neighborhood."

"And we have an alarm, we have cameras on our property, but we want the extra security of having someone have eyes on our place," Lyons added, according to KPIX-TV.

In addition to residents being concerned over the increase in crime in San Francisco, several retail stores have changed store hours due to an increase in thefts.

The California Retail Association previously reported that San Francisco was among the top 10 worst across the U.S. for retail theft.

Newsweek reached out to the San Francisco District Attorney's Office for comment but did not receive a response in time for publication.

San Francisco
Residents of a San Francisco town recently met to discuss the possible hiring of a private security force amid a rise in crime, including retail theft. Above, pedestrians walk by a Walgreens store that is set to be closed in the coming weeks on October 13 in San Francisco,. Walgreens announced plans to close five of its San Francisco stores due to organized retail shoplifting in its stores in the city. Justin Sullivan/Getty