Western Addition top S.F. murder spot in 2007 

The City has seen a geographical shift in homicides this year, as nearly one-fourth of all killings have occurred in the Western Addition, after years when the Bayview was known as the bloodiest neighborhood in San Francisco.

With 21 homicides to date in 2007, San Francisco is on pace for another record-setting year. Data supplied by the Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice show that more homicides have occurred in the Western Addition than in the Bayview, with three daylight shootings.

"In 2006, the vast majority [of homicides] were in Bayview, Western Addition, Mission district and downtown," said Lenore Anderson, director of the Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice. "For 2007, you’ll see a number of them have already occurred in the Western Addition in particular."

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In 2005, the Bayview police station recorded 24 homicides, with the Northern and Park stations —which include the Western Addition — recording 20.

In 2006, Bayview recorded 28 homicides, and the Northern and Park police stations recorded 17.

So far in 2007, three homicides have been recorded in Bayview, and five in the Northern and Park stations.

Due to a spike in gang-related homicides in the Western Addition, the Police Department is working with the City Attorney’s Office on a gang injunction for the neighborhood, according to Capt. Kevin Cashman, similar to a controversial civil injunction against the Oakdale Mob street gang in the Bayview district last year. That court order made congregating and conducting gang activity in a specified area punishable as a misdemeanor. Police say that the injunction has decreased gang-related crime in that area.

The overall homicide tally has led to a surge in anti-violence activity. Last year, The City turned to controversial surveillance cameras in an effort to deter criminal activity in the most violence-torn neighborhoods.

Criticizing the Police Department for a lack of leadership, the Board of Supervisors passed legislation last year requiring regular officer foot patrols. The measure drew opposition from the police union, police Chief Heather Fong and Mayor Gavin Newsom, who said supervisors should not dictate the deployment of officers.

Last week, Newsom announced a plan to extend the Police Department’s police foot beat patrols at four public housing sites to four additional sites, including three in the Western Addition.

The Police Department also began increasing the deployment of officers in high-crime neighborhoods.

Cashman said that the department is seeing a different type of violence than in previous years, with more spontaneous violence and violence that occurs indoors.

He said that at this time in 2005, there were nine "black-on-black" gang-related homicides, whereas this year there have been four. "We’re confident that the type of homicide that can be prevented by a police response will continue to decrease," Cashman said.

Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi, whose district includes the Western Addition, said the homicide numbers this year "are not surprising," but that by concentrating resources on areas where violence is prevalent, "I believe we will see some positive results."

"I feel there’s been some progress," Supervisor Bevan Dufty said. "But obviously the start of the year has been disappointing."


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