Police are cracking down on an increase in drug dealing at the end of the N-Judah light-rail line in the Outer Sunset district following complaints from residents.
In recent weeks, the Taraval Police Station has conducted nine operations to weed out a problem that has ebbed and flowed in the neighborhood over the years.
An operation two weeks ago led to the arrest of a man who tried to sell cocaine to a police officer, according to police. More of these types of stings are on the way, Sgt. Kevin Mannix said.
“We are getting some more complaints,” he said. “We need to hit it again.”
Neighbors and police say problem spots include the 7-Eleven at 46th Avenue and Judah Street, which operates 24 hours a day, and near the N-Judah turnaround at La Playa Street, where there is a public bathroom.
The public bathroom and easy access to transportation attract the criminal element, Mannix said.
The problem comes and goes, Mannix said, and Taraval station devotes resources to stop the activity whenever neighbors inform them that dealers are coming back. Unfortunately, he said, the seedy element eventually does return.
“We are committed to addressing the issue,” Mannix said, adding that police encourage neighbors to inform them every time an uptick is occurring.
Buffy Maguire, owner of Java Beach Café, said she wants a more permanent solution. Part of the problem, she said, is that Taraval station serves a massive portion of The City, and the area in question is on the edge of the police district.
Maguire said she believes the station doesn’t have the funds or resources to permanently address the issue, given the more serious crimes cops deal with in the Sunset.
Years ago, she said, there were ideas to add a beat cop or a satellite police station to address safety issues; those never materialized.
“Either of those would be a potential solution,” Maguire said.
Mannix said police are committed to ridding the area of dealers, and he hopes residents will continue to contact Taraval Station with tips.
“We need you to be our eyes and ears,” Mannix said.