CCOP “Keeping The Castro Safe for 10 Years” Press Release

Ten years ago, the Castro was in the grip of an unprecedented wave of gay hate crimes. In response, local citizens banded together to form Castro Community on Patrol (CCOP), an all-volunteer patrol that makes the Castro and Duboce Triangle neighborhoods better and safer for everyone who lives, works, and plays here.

2015 CSF

This year the Castro Community on Patrol celebrates 10 years of service to the community.  In 2015 alone, CCOP provided more than 1,269 hours of patrolling services in the Castro and Duboce Triangle, helping these neighborhoods to stay safe. CCOP also provides educational outreach and public safety support at close to 25 community events and activities each year, runs free self-defense seminars, attends community meetings, and works closely with many community organizations and city agencies. CCOP bridges the gap between the safety needs of the community and the limited resources of the SF Police Department.

As well as neighborhood safety, CCOP stresses volunteer patroller safety. Greg Carey, the Chief of Patrol, joined CCOP “for the exercise” as a patroller in 2007 and quickly rose to a leadership role. “We are observers, first and foremost, acting as the eyes and ears of the neighborhood. We stick together in our patrol, and never engage in a situation that could be dangerous. If needed, we’ll withdraw, alert officers, and record anything that may be of value. But, even this makes a big difference in controlling neighborhood crime.”

(Check out the CCOP Post Patrol Reports section in this web site which gives details on many of the patrols and what each patrol encounters and the situations they respond to.)

As a grassroots, non-profit, community-run organization, CCOP relies 100% on its volunteers. “We provide training, support and camaraderie for those who want to help make the Castro safer by patrolling the neighborhood with their neighbors,” says Patrol Volunteer Kyle Wong.

Chief Craig & Antjuan & Chief Suhr & Greg Carey & Brian Hill

CCOP is looking for new volunteers to help keep the Castro neighborhood, businesses and visitors safe despite a rise in San Francisco crime. From a start of 150 patrollers in 2006, CCOP now has 25 active volunteers. By comparison, a similar group started in 2016 in the Inner Sunset, a much quieter neighborhood, has 100 volunteers. With more volunteers CCOP will add weekday and evening patrols to their regular weekend night patrols. Volunteer requirements include the ability to: walk 3 hours, run 2 blocks in emergencies and understand that protection is more important than reaction.

If you would like to help keep the Castro safe for everyone, consider attending CCOP’s upcoming training on Tuesday March 15, 2016 from 7-10 PM.

CCOP new volunteer trainings are held every two months. Check the website frequently to sign up for training or find out more information at http://castropatrol.org/ and http://castropatrol.org/volunteers/sign_up/.

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