Police Beat

Police Beat – Sunset District

Designate a Sober Driver

By Capt. Nicholas Rainsford

Graduations are in full swing and there is a lot to celebrate with so many people, both young and not so young, accomplishing their educational goals. With that said, there will be many social gatherings of family and friends to express well-deserved congratulations to the graduates.  

As all celebrations go, not just graduations, please make sure if alcohol is involved that you make a plan in advance for transportation.  A pre-planned designated driver is always a good idea. If that is not possible, please consider other alternatives, such as a taxi, rideshare service or public transportation.  It is always heart wrenching when celebrations turn to tragedy and life is cut short due to impaired driving. 

Impaired driving is more than just alcohol. It also means cannabis, prescription drugs and other drugs. So, please be smart and plan your celebrations with everyone’s safety in mind. Officers from Taraval Station, as well as the rest of the City, will be on the lookout for impaired drivers, so don’t drive impaired. It’s not worth it.

With summer upon us, many students are returning home from college. It is a parent’s duty to “have that talk” and reinforce the message that it is not OK to drive impaired.  Friends also have a duty to not get in a vehicle if they know the driver may be impaired. They must try to intervene and not let an impaired driver get behind the wheel.  Also community members, if you see someone who you think is impaired operating a vehicle, call 911 and the police will respond.

I would also like to share a word regarding burglaries. Recently SF Supervisor Gordon Mar held an SF Board of Supervisors hearing on burglaries and then followed up with a town hall meeting to hear more from the community. 

In reviewing burglary reports, one thing I frequently notice is that crooks often gain access to homes through garages by breaking into cars when they see a garage door opener and then they point the opener at several homes and just start clicking to see which garage door it will open. The garage door opener is often kept in plain view, usually clipped to the visor. This is easy pickings for opportunistic scoundrels. Keep your garage door openers out of plain view, either in a console, glove box or under a seat. Don’t leave it visible in your car.

I have been pushing out a weekly “Intel” report to all of the officers at Taraval Station. I study all of the crime trends and reports and then extract the need-to-know information onto a handy quick reference sheet. As a result of this, Taraval officers Lake Herbert and Anthony Watson recently made an excellent burglary-in-progress arrest. The bad guy parked his stolen car behind a business on 19th Avenue, smashed the glass out of the door and illegally entered to further his felonious activity.  The officers knew of prior incidents and that this was an area to be watched. They did a great job locking down the outside of the business and coordinating the response from additional officers.  The burglar was subsequently taken into custody. As the investigation unfolded, the suspect was linked to other burglaries.  Nice work guys.

Recently I have been expanding the message of “If you see something, say something.”  If you see something you can also “video that something.” Most of us have cell phones handy and a video of criminal activity can provide investigative leads we otherwise may not get.

Follow me on Twitter at 

@SFPDTaraval for some really interesting tweets and go to Taraval.org for much more information on crimes, tips, traffic safety, home safety and much more.

Captain Nicholas Rainsford is the commanding officer at the Taraval Police Station.

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