2017 CCOP Round-Up

Castro Community On Patrol (CCOP) is formed around the internationally recognized Community/Citizens On Patrol Service (COPS) model.  All CCOP Patrollers are unpaid volunteers who serve as additional “eyes and ears” for law enforcement.  In this volunteer role we enjoy a very close working relationship with city government, law enforcement, community groups, businesses and residents within the Castro and Duboce Triangle area in which we patrol.

Our goal is to promote and enhance the security and safety of the Castro and Duboce Triangle neighborhood through volunteer patrols, educational outreach, support of local efforts and through a close liaison with our law enforcement partners.

Our mission is to create a safer neighborhood for those who live in, work in, or visit the neighborhood. CCOP volunteers patrol the neighborhood and create a visible safety presence. Patrol volunteers note and report violent and property crimes, as well as conditions conducive to that kind of crime, and also educate the public about safety issues in the community.

CCOP Patrollers enjoying a moment with Santa and his helper Elf

In 2017 we provided at least 891 hours of community service, and since we began recording such figures in 2011 we have provided at least 8,619 hours of service in total to the Castro and Duboce Triangle Communities.

At the close of 2017 we had 19 ACTIVE Patrol volunteers and 14 INACTIVE (i.e. they have not patrolled in two months or more.)  Thus we have a total of 33 Patrollers on our books, but in reality only 19 are regularly patrolling.  We would love to increase our number of active Patrollers to at least 100, as we could do so much more for the community if we had more active volunteers.  If you’d like to help out, sign up for our next volunteer training class on Saturday January 20th using the SIGN UP NOW link.

We were able to deploy a total of 54 regular and special event patrols throughout 2017 which were staffed by a total of 128 Patrollers.  Many of our Patrollers volunteer for  one 3 hour patrol each month, the minimum we request of all volunteers.  A few however consistently provide more than the minimum and warrant our thanks and a “mention in dispatches” as follows:

  • Ptlr. Dan Cooney with 15 patrols
  • Ptlr. Neil Fullagar with 15 patrols
  • Ptlr. Nicole Macias with 15 patrols
  • Ptlr. Stephanie Ong with 15 patrols
  • Ptlr. Alexander Upchurch with 19 patrols

CCOP Ptlr. Nicole Macias at the 2017 Castro Street Fair.

Our Chiefs of Patrol all regularly contribute much more than the standard expected 12 patrols per year.

We supported a total of 31 special event patrols in support of the community at large including:

  • FREE Community Self-Defense classes at STRUT
  • “March of the Peaceful Penguins” protest by the students of Harvey Milk Academy
  • Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence “Easter In The Park”
  • Harvey Milk Day Observations
  • Gilbert Baker Memorial
  • Pulse Nightclub Memorial
  • Safety monitoring for the rally and march against the Whitehouse Transgender ban
  • Castro Street Fair
  • Patrol Special Police Officer John Fitzinger Memorial
  • “Santa Skivvies Run” fundraiser
  • AIDS Emergency Fund Holiday Dinner event

Santa Skivvies Run in Castro

Throughout 2017 we supported other groups and agencies, by attending and supporting the following community efforts on a regular basis:

  • International Police Association
  • Federal Bureau of Investigation Citizens Academy Alumni
  • State of California Disaster Corps
  • San Francisco District Attorney’s LGBT Focus Group
  • San Francisco Police Department LGBT Community Advisory Forum
  • San Francisco Police Department Auxiliary Law Enforcement Response Team (ALERT)
  • San Francisco Police Department Mission Station Captains Monthly meetings
  • San Francisco Fire Department Neighborhood Emergency Response Team (NERT)
  • Castro Business Watch (CBW)
  • Castro Merchants
  • Castro Cares
  • Upper Market Alliance meetings

Thank you for your support in 2017. We look forward to continuing to work on behalf of the community in 2018 and beyond.

 

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Ptlr. Fullagar Exceeds 100 Patrols For CCOP

It is with great pleasure and sincere gratitude that CCOP recognizes Patroller Neil Fullagar, also a member of our Board of Advisors, who has exceeded the 100 patrol credits mark this year!  It is quite an achievement, and a strong indication of Ptlr. Fullagar’s dedication to CCOP and our mission.  Only five other CCOP personnel have exceeded the 100 patrol credits mark to date as follows:

  • Chief Greg Carey currently holds 812 credits
  • Deputy Chief Ken Craig currently holds 807 credits
  • Deputy Chief Brian Hill currently holds 309 credits
  • Assistant Deputy Chief Kyle Wong currently holds 136 credits
  • Senior Patroller Alexander Upchurch currently holds 151 credits

Ptlr. Neil Fullagar, CCOP

CCOP Outstanding Volunteer Commendation Bar

 

In recognition of this 100 patrol credits milestone, Ptlr. Fullagar will be presented with the CCOP Outstanding Volunteer Commendation pin and certificate during our next monthly volunteer meeting in January of 2018.

Please take a moment to congratulate Ptlr. Fullager when you next see him.  We could not do, all we accomplish for the community, without the dedication and support of volunteers such as Ptlr. Fullagar and you.

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Holiday Season Kicks Off In The Castro

CCOP was proud to assist the Holiday season traditional “Kick Off” events in the Castro with the Christmas Tree lighting ceremony first, followed immediately afterward by the annual Harvey Milk Memorial candle light march.  We handed out 300 FREE safety whistles during both events.

The Christmas tree on Castro Street @ 18th Street.

CCOP Patrollers worked with SFPD to keep attendees and traffic safe.

CCOP Patrollers enjoying a moment with Santa and his helper Elf

Speeches at Harvey Milk Plaza before the march.

SFPD and CCOP cleared the lane on Castro Street for the march

The 2017 Harvey Milk Candle light memorial march.

At Harvey Milk’s former camera store on Castro Street

 

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What Is It Like To Patrol With CCOP? A Patrollers Perspective.

By Patroller Nicole Macias, CCOP

I joined Castro Community On Patrol (CCOP) in November of 2016 so it’s my one-year patrol-i-versary!

I’ve lived in the neighborhood for a little over 10 years and over the last few years we’ve noticed a real influx in crime, drug use, and homelessness. I had just had a day where I passed someone smoking meth in broad daylight, a human being pooped on my staircase, and we had to yank our dog away from nearly stepping on a needle. I made a post on the site Nextdoor and asked my neighbors what I could do to help clean up the neighborhood because I didn’t want to simply complain about things getting worse and worse. A lot of folks from CCOP are on the site and involved in the community so a Patroller recommended the group and I signed up for the training. I love the Castro and I love getting to know my neighbors and feeling like I’m making a difference.

CCOP Ptlr. Nicole Macias at the 2017 Castro Street Fair.

I really didn’t know what to expect when I signed up with CCOP. They run you through all kinds of situations in the training that had me a little freaked out. However, I had no idea I was going to be patrolling alongside some of the greatest folks so I’d always feel safe and that we’d be able to handle the situations we’d encountered.

I didn’t expect that I’d make a bunch of new friends and look forward to patrolling or volunteering at events. Oh! That’s another thing. I also didn’t realize we do more than the night patrols. We help at vigils, protests, art dedications, celebrations, rallies, etc. assisting with traffic control, crowd safety, or handing out safety whistles. This is a nice way to get to know your fellow patrollers in a slightly lower stress environment. Some of my favorite “shifts” include the moving Orlando shooting anniversary memorial service, Harvey Milk’s Birthday, the Anti-Nazi rally, The Castro Street Fair and Easter with the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence.

I was really happy to see that instead of a loosely organized volunteer shift, I’d have a handbook, a protocol of what to do and who to call, assigned roles so each person has a focus on the patrol and a set of gear designed to keep us and the community safe (flash lights, body cameras, walkies). It’s pretty darn professional for volunteer work! 🙂

My favorite thing is that on every single patrol someone says “Thank you guys for doing this” it’s really rewarding knowing you’re helping people feel safe, especially in these tumultuous times.

I like that the folks I patrol with are kind and decent human beings who really make an effort to be part of something. I’ve gotten to know so many more of my neighbors and local business owners because of patrolling. Now, when I walk around the neighborhood I almost always see a friendly face and get a hello. I also appreciate how tapped in they are to the goings on in the neighborhood. They’re always able to tell me when construction is starting in a particular area, what the next big event is, and they jump at offering up our help to all kinds of local groups looking for support.

Chf. Greg Carey and Ptlr. Nicole Macias at 2017 Patriot Prayer Counter Rally in Castro

People often ask what we do on Patrol so my short answer is usually: We provide a presence in the community that hopefully discourages bad behavior while trying to do some good. We perform wellness checks on the homeless population and offer services if needed. We help drunk people find their ubers and get home safely. We report street light outages. We help sort out disagreements. We get in touch with law enforcement or paramedics when more complex situations arise.  We check in with local businesses and see how their nights are going and what their pain points are. We discourage folks from loitering on private property where they might get in trouble or disrupt their neighbors, BUT we’re not cops. We don’t throw authority around or put ourselves in harm’s way. We’re volunteers afterall!

If you would like to join CCOP as a new Trainee Patroller, we have classes on-going throughout the year.  Just click the SIGN UP NOW button on the top right corner of our web site www.CastroPatrol.org to find out when the next class will be held.  ALL classes are held in the of the Castro neighborhood.

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CCOP Welcomes New Mission Station Captain Gaetano Caltagirone

Mission Police Station will see a change in Captain on October 28th, with newly appointed Captain Gaetano Caltagirone taking over from Captain Bill Griffin.  CCOP would like to extend a warm welcome to Captain Caltagirone.  We look forward to working collaboratively to help improve and secure the safety and security of the Castro / Duboce Triangle neighborhoods.

Captain Gaetano Caltagirone is pictured on the right.

Captain Gaetano Caltagirone has a wide range of experience in patrol and most recently was the night Captain, in charge of SFPD’s city wide operations overnight.  We hope to meet with Captain Caltagirone soon.  Please take a moment to say hello if you see him in the neighborhood looking after his new command.

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Castro & CCOP Mourn The Passing of Officer John Fitzinger

It is with deep sorrow that we heard of the passing of Patrol Special Police Officer, and Castro beat owner, John Fitzinger on Friday October 6th and we pass this information on through our web site.

Officer Fitzinger took over the Castro Patrol Special Police beat following the death of Patrol Special Police Officer Jane Warner, and was eventually successful in purchasing the beat following approval by the Police Commission from former beat owner Serge White.  Officer Fitzinger was an amazing community Police Officer, committed and dedicated to absolutely everyone in the Castro, and everyone who visited the Castro.

CCOP worked very closely with Officer Fitzinger and relied heavily upon his experience, knowledge, and on more that one occasion, his back-up and support when we were on patrol.  John always brought a sense of calm and professionalism to every situation.

We, and the entire Castro community, will greatly miss this incredible Officer and friend.

Services in celebration of Officer John Fitzinger’s life will take place:

Friday October 20, 2017 @ 11 AM – St. Paul’s Church, 221 Valley Street, San Francisco, CA and will be followed by a reception at the Patio Cafe, 531 Castro Street, San Francisco, CA.

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Thank You To All Who Volunteered On 08/26!

Patrollers and CSVs:

Thank you for the generous donation of your time to help keep the Castro safe on Saturday. We had a total of 28 volunteers who put on the safety vest during the day for a visible safety presence and the willingness to step into the few situations that needed attention.
The one serious event of the day was the medical emergency involving the man who passed out in front of Twin Peaks bar. Our EMT volunteer Greg Albrecht was able to immediately attend to the victim’s needs and the Patrol teams were able to form a protective cordon around the scene and then escort the SFFD first responders and ambulance crew into and out of the area quickly.
For those of you who worked the early shift, please know that the teams who stayed in the Castro in the afternoon and evening received compliments on your behalf. Some of these came from organizers of the myriad of other groups that were part of the event (we worked with 24 community organizers in the 2 weeks leading up to Saturday), but most of the praise came from random strangers who saw your good work and recognized our distinctive uniforms.
There are a few photos of various volunteers here: https://www.facebook.com/CastroPatrol/posts/1510927225667374
Invitation to Join CCOP
We want to remind the SCVs of our upcoming training workshop for new Castro Patrol volunteers. The 60th training event will take place on Saturday, September 16 from 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM. Invite friends to join as well. Seats are limited, but if you try to register after the number is exceeded, send me an e-mail and we will “force” an extra seat into the system. (Just in case we are overwhelmed with requests, we might need to ask you to wait until the next training day on November 7.)
To reserve your seat (and read more details about becoming a Patroller), follow this link: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/patrol-volunteer-basic-training-class-060-tickets-34761442410
“Greggy”
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
castro community on patrol
Greg Carey, Chief of Patrol
“Saint Watchful Eyes of the Castro Beat” of the Order of the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence (2012)
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08/26 “Patriot Prayer” Event – What You Can Do To Help

Most people are very much aware of the Patriot Prayer event scheduled to take place in Crissy Field on Saturday August 26 from 2 PM to 5 PM.  Labelled as a “hate speech group” by the Southern Poverty Law Center, community concerns have been mounting following violence in Charlottesville, Virginia recently.

Crissy Field is located within the Federal Park Service jurisdiction and while they have approved a permit for the event, the decision to issue the permit and allow the event to move forward may not happen until Friday 08/25 according to Park Service representatives. Non the less, City Officials, Law Enforcement entities, and community organizers have been working to prepare for “the worst” while hoping for the best outcome, such as in Boston over the weekend.

WHAT CAN YOU DO TO HELP?

  • We strongly recommend NOT going to Crissy Field to counter protest.  Working with many community leaders and organizations, as well as in consultation with the City and Police, we recommend that you instead attend one of the many Peace & Unity counter events which will take place in other parts of San Francisco.  This will allow Law Enforcement agencies to deal with the Patriot Prayer folks more easily should violence occur.
  • If you see anything which seems suspicious or activity which is racist, homophobic, violent etc. in the run up to Saturday or on Sunday, CALL 911 immediately and relate as much information as possible.  DON’T delay that call.
  • Capture video footage of any violent actions, threats, or incidents and contact your local Police station or the District Attorney’s office and offer to e-mail the video footage to them for evidentiary purposes.
  • DON’T engage in violence!!  This is precisely what these groups want to create.  Call 911 and step away as much as possible.  Allow the Police to hand the perpetrators, and hand them the video footage of the incident if you were able to capture anything.
  • BE SURE to let friends, visitors to San Francisco and so on know about the event and encourage them to avoid the Crissy Field and surrounding area entirely for the day.
  • Volunteer with one of the many counter events going on throughout the city on Saturday 08/26.
  • Volunteer with us as a Community Safety Volunteer (CSV) for the day.  You will work with our trained CCOP Patrollers as additional “eyes and ears” in the Castro to ensure no splinter groups or other opportunists come into the neighborhood to cause problems.  If we observe anything, we will contact 911 immediately.  (To volunteer send an e-mail to INFO@CastroPatrol.org)
  • Volunteer with groups working to promote diversity and equality after Saturday 08/26 as this may not be the last time such groups come to San Francisco.

 

Within the Castro we have worked with local businesses to place the signs below in their store-front windows.  This sends a clear message that the Castro is OPEN TO ALL, and we will not tolerate violence or hate filled speech from anyone.   These businesses also agree to provide a “safe space” for anyone in trouble. Simply step into any store with the sign and ask them to contact Police for you.

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A Time for Awareness

Shortly after the November 2016 election, Castro Patrol took part in 2 public safety workshops; one SOMA and one in the Castro. At that time, the attached document (link below) was produced to help the community prepare for possible attacks from right-winged organizations, and to remind people to turn to reputable news organizations to prevent spreading false rumors or fanning fear.

Time for Awareness_161121_2,pdf

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Recognizing Dedicated Service This Pride Month

Castro Community On Patrol (CCOP) is blessed with the solid and dedicated support of a great many people, who volunteer on a regular basis to help keep the neighborhood a little safer and more secure.  These volunteers are the true “life blood” of CCOP without whom very little could be accomplished.

We’d like to take a moment this Pride month to recognize the following individuals in grateful recognition of their years of service to CCOP and the community we serve.

Chief Greg Carey is recognized for TEN (10) years of dedicated service to CCOP.  A graduate of Patrol Volunteer Basic Training Class 004 on 01/28/2007.

Senior Patroller Alexander Upchurch for FIVE (5) years of dedicated service to CCOP. A graduate of Patrol Volunteer Basic Training Class 025 on 08/20/2011.

Patroller Neil Fullager for FIVE (5) years of dedicated service to CCOP. A graduate of Patrol Volunteer Basic Training Class 029 on 04/21/2012.

Ptlr. Michael Stoyka for FIVE (5) years of dedicated service to CCOP. A graduate Patrol Volunteer Basic Training Class 001, Mike took some time off, returning to re-certify in Patrol Basic Training class 030 on 06/07/2012.

 

All will receive a certificate of accomplishment and a lapel pin showing the years of service they have provided.  Our most sincere thanks to these Patrollers, and to all Patrollers who continue to commit their time and energy to CCOP on a monthly basis.

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