Officials Seek to Reassure Residents After Homicide Victim Found on Bernal Hill

There was a capacity crowd at last night’s community meeting to discuss the grim discovery of San Francisco resident Giovanny Alvarez’s body on Bernal Hill in the early hours of May 25. Several local TV stations were on hand at the meeting too, along with Neighbor Sarah who she shared these useful notes about what transpired:

First speaker: D9 Supervisor Hillary Ronen
Ronen invited Giovanny Alvarez’s family to attend. Police don’t believe it was a random incident; the Bernal community is not in danger. Police are investigating and are therefore able to provide only limited info.

Second speaker: Katherine Alvarez – sister of the homicide victim
She seeks justice for brother, family, and community. They don’t think anyone is safe while killer is still on the loose. If anyone has any information, please contact police or family. She handed out a flyer with more information and contact details.

Third speaker: SFPD Captain Joseph McFadden from Ingleside Station
Emphasized that people should call with any info from May 24-May 25. Can’t say much because of ongoing investigation. He has doubled patrols on Bernal Hill.

Questions from the community:

Q: Did cameras catch anything? Should we have emergency call boxes on the hill?
A: McFadden would love more cameras. Solar-powered camera on hill has been checked. Encourages everyone on side streets to look at their private-camera footage for May 24/25, especially on streets leading up to the hill. Report anything you notice. Call 404-4000 (Ingleside station) or

Q: Is there any increase in criminal activity on the hill?
A: No, it had been quiet before this (at least in terms of violent crime).

Q: Neighbor who lives across from park says activity like drinking, graffiti, etc. has increased in the last 3 years.
A: SFPD has created a fixed post on the hill now on “fat nights” (when station has max staffing) – a car sits up there to prevent criminal activity of all sorts.

Q: How can you convince us we are safe?
A: Stepped up patrols and undercover. Supervisor Ronen added that the crime was very likely NOT random and that it is safe for joggers, dogwalkers, etc. Alvarez family disagreed and said no one is safe.

Q: Another neighbor who lives on the hill observed that when the temperature climbs above 60, get groups drinking.
A: Police aware of this as well.

Q: Is the (legal) overnight parking on Bernal Hill contributing to late-night criminal activity?
A: Not related to this particular crime; link up with Supervisor Ronen’s staff to discuss issue separately.

Fourth speaker: Arturo Carrillo, Street Violence Intervention Program (SVIP)
The Street Violence Intervention Program (SVIP) is run out of the mayor’s office to prevent retaliation. She is advocating for resources for both SFPD and SVIP this budget season. SVIP works one-on-one with at-risk youth in community to prevent gang activity, retaliation after violent incidents, etc.

Also have a street violence response team that meets every Wednesday, with key stakeholders (DA, SF General, probation, etc) on helping victims and families and preventing retaliatory actions. Promote conflict mediation. Also distribute meals into public housing.

Q: Should we call SVIP instead of SFPD (to avoid unnecessary contact between youth and police and/or violent confrontations)?
A: Yes, you can do that. SVIP usually works 11am-8pm M-F + weekend hours. They do have a crisis response team as well. Arturo: 415-652-3924,

Other info:
Carolina Morales is the staff member for Sup. Ronen who focuses on public safety.

The DA’s office maintains a registry of private (home/business) cameras to use when they seek footage related to crimes. You can register your camera here.

Bernalwood would like to extend special thanks to Neighbor Sarah for sharing her notes.

PHOTO: Sup. Hillary Ronen and Capt. Joseph McFadden at the May 31 community meeting. Photo courtesy of Neighbor Sarah

2 thoughts on “Officials Seek to Reassure Residents After Homicide Victim Found on Bernal Hill

  1. Did the police say why they don’t think this was random? Not random based on what theory or information?

  2. “Encourages everyone on side streets to look at their private-camera footage for May 24/25, especially on streets leading up to the hill. Report anything you notice. ”

    Is that really the extent of San Francisco homicide squad’s efforts on this case ? They are not going to go door-to-door, asking residents to let them have a look at the footage? 99% of people would happily let them look without a warrant, me included, if it helps solve a murder.

    No wonder San Francisco has such a low solve rate for murders. They don’t even try, unless a suspect falls into their lap.

Comments are closed.