Neighbor Rebecca lives near the Banks Street house where the gunfire occurred, and she attended the meeting on Wednesday. Here’s her summary of the discussion:
The community meeting at BHNC went really well. Lots of neighbors (at least 60) showed up, which demonstrated community engagement, and the leaders who were present.
Supervisor Hillary Ronen, Captain Jack Hart, and Kevin Guy from the City’s short-term rentals office all remarked on the involvement of neighbors.
When someone asked about forming a formal Neighborhood Watch, Captain Jack Hart basically said, “no need for that – you guys ARE that!” Airbnb has offered to pay for any damage from the party’s fallout; repairing windows and cars with bullet holes.
SFPD has stepped up patrols and is taking this incredibly seriously. Captain Hart outlined lots of ways that they are ensuring that this “NEVER happens again.” That means foot patrols, closer contact with short-term lease oversight, gang task force outreach, etc. He reiterated how unusual and shocking this incident was, even to him.
The meeting was very focused on the Banks Street incident and how they’re working to avert any future such problems. One woman did ask about other issues: She acknowledged that we were here to discuss the Banks Street event, but she also wanted to know how SFPD is addressing the issues more regular, recurring problems. Specifically: package theft and car break-ins.
Captain Hart said they’re working on all of these things, and that his biggest request is that people report ANY and ALL crimes we see. He said that he pulled over a stolen car full of stolen goods with identifying info, and none of those theft victims had reported it and he was so frustrated. Always report car break-ins, report package thefts, and if you see anything in progress call 911 and let THEM triage it — don’t just write it off that police are doing “more important” things elsewhere.
Captain Hart is committed to Bernal almost to the point of absurdity; during the meeting he was rattling off street names and his family’s personal history, and he threatened to get a tattoo that said “212 Banks.”
Suffice to say, I think we’re in good hands.