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Old 09-16-2021, 07:55 AM   #1
mbsv
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What is going on here (circling)

I was on a project this week where I had lots of time to observe a street alongside one of San Francisco's 'square' parks.

From about 2:30 to 5:00, a patrol car was circling the park. As in it drove up the street I was on, turned right, and 4-6 minutes later, it was back again. At one point I took a break to watch from another location--indeed, it just drove all the way around the park. For two and a half hours. Maybe more. It also showed up again some time after sunset, but by that point I wasn't observing the street regularly enough to see if that was just once.

What was going on? As far as I can tell the two officers inside were not watching for anything.
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Old 09-16-2021, 07:24 PM   #2
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They had it set on Autopilot so they could watch 3 Stooges videos.

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Old 09-17-2021, 10:22 AM   #3
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Call the SF police department and ask.
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Old 09-18-2021, 02:33 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by mbsv View Post
I was on a project this week where I had lots of time to observe a street alongside one of San Francisco's 'square' parks.

From about 2:30 to 5:00, a patrol car was circling the park. As in it drove up the street I was on, turned right, and 4-6 minutes later, it was back again. At one point I took a break to watch from another location--indeed, it just drove all the way around the park. For two and a half hours. Maybe more. It also showed up again some time after sunset, but by that point I wasn't observing the street regularly enough to see if that was just once.

What was going on? As far as I can tell the two officers inside were not watching for anything.
It sounds like your question will be better answered if you ask on the nextdoor app
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Old 09-19-2021, 11:41 AM   #5
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drove all the way around the park. For two and a half hours. Maybe more.
Quite possible that there has been some sort of activity at the park that the police believe a unformed presence will deter. Let's suppose it's not a major crime. No killing spree. They get enough reports and complaints. But the activity isn't something that will be prosecuted, even if they make an arrest.

So you take a guy who is on the Captain's sh!t list, and you give him the dumb assignment of driving around the block in circles. Or walking a "foot beat" inside of The Broadway Tunnel. Sort of like punishment. For the guys who obviously did something they were not suppose to do, but it wasn't something that they could be fired for. Like dating the Captain's daughter and making her cry.

Now what could be so bad, that neighbors are complaining? But you are not mounting a task force to ensnare and trap the bad guys in the act? It's a public park. So a squad car going around in circles will just chase them away, and send the message that the police are watching, go away.

Kids skateboarding. Dog walkers not picking up poo. Gay men cruising the park for sex in the bushes? Homeless people digging through the garbage for recyclables?
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Old 09-22-2021, 11:27 AM   #6
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What park was it? The ones that attract tourists in droves (e.g., Alamo Square) are major hotspots for vehicle break-ins/burglaries. I've seen guys walking up and down the line of cars casing them in broad daylight.

My guess would be that a visible SFPD patrol could deter that. If that's what they're doing, it's about time.
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Old 09-22-2021, 05:54 PM   #7
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You guessed the location! One of the parks which have the brown signs "Do Not Leave Anything In Your Car Tourist. Welcome To San Francisco. Oro en Paz, Fierro en Guerra, Cristales Rotos Para Turistas".

There was a car which was broken in to, and I think the patrol car first showed up to take a report from whoever it happened to. So perhaps this was enough of a driver to set someone on patrol?

I could imagine it detering things for a day--but not really stopping anything. I wonder who the show was for--were these people sufficiently powerful? Was it a punishment (as AdamFiveFive suggests) or a reward or both?

But again kinda crazy to just loop on repeat for hours and hours on end.
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Old 09-27-2021, 02:27 PM   #8
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I used to live on Grove a block from the park. There are break-ins every single day there. My window got busted twice in the year I lived there, both times with nothing inside, center console and glove box open to show there was nothing there.

I called in people casing cars on two occasions while I was there. Two dudes walk down a row of cars, one on the sidewalk, the other on the street side. They note which cars have goods, then hit them all in one quick shot.

Like you, mbsv, I seriously doubt the long-term deterrent effect of patrols like that. But I'm sure it made a difference for the tourists who were there that day and didn't get their cameras/laptops/suitcases/passports/etc stolen (whether they know it or not).
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