San Francisco Businesses Can Now Hire Deputies As Security to Combat Smash-and-Grab Spikes

Legislation was recently passed in San Francisco allowing retail stores to hire deputies with the city's sheriff's office as security officers in an effort to combat the rise in smash and grab looting incidents.

San Francisco Supervisor Ahsha Safai announced on Twitter that the "10A" legislation he authored was passed in a 7-3 vote by the city's board of supervisors.

".@sfbos passed my "10A" legislation that would allow Deputy Sheriffs to work overtime at retail and commercial establishments for special events or occurrences at no cost to the City with a 7-3 vote," Safai wrote.

"This legislation will come back for a final vote next Tuesday, 12/14," Safai wrote in a subsequent tweet.

According to KNTV News in San Francisco, the legislation involves a collaboration with the city, the San Francisco Police Department and the San Francisco Sheriff's Office. The local news station also reported that prior to the legislation, only officers with the San Francisco Police Department were allowed to serve as security guards for private retail stores and businesses.

During a press conference on Tuesday, Safai explained that sheriff's office deputies will be allowed to serve as security officers during their overtime hours and not during their regular on-duty shifts, KNTV reported.

"This legislation seeks to expand the availability of not just our police officers that are allowed under the existing rules of the city, but our sheriffs to be hired by private entities," Safai said on Tuesday.

He continued, "Many of the private entities were having a hard time filling the demand. There weren't enough officers that were available for overtime to be hired, even on the dime of a private entity."

According to the San Francisco Chronicle, Sheriff Paul Miyamoto also spoke during the press conference and said the legislation is "a great opportunity for us to help with keeping our communities safe."

In a statement sent to Newsweek, Miyamoto said, "With the recent rise in property crimes in San Francisco, the legislation allows Deputies to have a presence in stores and businesses to keep everyone safe and reduce opportunities to commit crimes. It is important to help keep stores in our community for access not just to retail outlets, but pharmacies and medical services they host or provide."

The statement continued, "Now that the 10A legislation has passed its first reading, we are prepared to begin working with the community and hope to provide additional support this holiday season and in the future."

The legislation comes as San Francisco has seen a rise in smash and grab looting incidents in retail stores. In November, a group of thieves damaged the doors and windows of the Louis Vuitton store in the city, prompting District Attorney Chesa Boudin to file charges against nine individuals who were suspected of being involved in the incident.

Newsweek reached out to Safai for further comment but did not receive a response in time for publication.

San Francisco
San Francisco retail businesses can now hire deputies from the city's sheriff's office to serve as security guards amid a rise in retail theft. Above, a security guard watches the entrance to a Louis Vuitton store, which has had its windows boarded near Union Square on November 30, 2021 in San Francisco, California. Ethan Swope/Getty