Let’s Keep All of Pacific Beach Safe for Everyone

Please attend this meeting to demand solutions that will prevent and reduce crime:
“San Diego Police Presentation on 2014 Crime in San Diego”
Public Safety and Livable Neighborhoods Committee (SD City Council)
Wednesday, Feb 25th, 2:00 pm
City Hall, 202 C Street, 12th Floor

The good news is that from 2013 to 2014, crime went down about 2% overall in San Diego and our San Diego Police have been doing an outstanding job! Unfortunately, violent crime has increased in some areas.

Most of us feel safe in our community of Pacific Beach, and rightly so because our residential neighborhoods have very little violent crime. However, the same cannot be said of certain areas in our business district.

Violent crime in Pacific Beach increased 14% from 2013 to 2014. Total violent crimes went from 189 to 216, and rapes went from 10 to 18. Crime stats by community are available at ARJIS.org  or click on Crime Data tables here: Crime San Diego 2014 and Crime San Diego 2013 

Most of these violent crimes are alcohol-fueled assaults occurring in areas of our business district that are concentrated with bars and bar-like restaurants operating with business models reliant on maximum sales of alcohol and over-serving. This often results in over-intoxicated patrons, who go out into our community and commit crimes ranging from assault, rape and DUI to vandalism and negative impacts on residents’ quality of life.

In 2014, the top six communities for violent crime were East Village, Pacific Beach, North Park, Logan Heights, Gaslamp and Hillcrest – all but one have nightlife/entertainment-oriented business districts filled with bars and bar-like restaurants. Pacific Beach also carries the burden of having more DUIs and citations for public urination than any other community in San Diego.

The bottom line of the Police report will likely be that crime is going down. And we should applaud our police for doing such an excellent job. But our police have been given an impossible task because enforcement alone cannot solve the high crime in our business districts. We also need effective crime prevention measures. The City needs to adopt policies that will prevent the poor business practices that result in high crime, while maintaining safe, vibrant and healthy business districts.

Mayor Faulconer has said multiple times, “Safe neighborhoods are our first priority” and Police Chief Zimmerman has said recently, “We would rather prevent crime than pick up after it.” We need to ask our City Officials, “Why is crime going up in our community and what are we going to do to reverse it?” “Why are we allowing these high-crime business districts to drain police resources from other communities and squander taxpayer dollars?” “Why aren’t we taking measures to prevent the problem business practices that are causing the high crime?”

We need to demand that our City, not Sacramento/ABC, be in control of how and where late-night alcohol businesses operate. Our City needs to adopt the land-use policy solutions used successfully by scores of other California cities to prevent and reduce crime by regulating late-night alcohol businesses operations, such as:

  1. An ordinance that grandfathers in existing alcohol businesses as long as they remain law-abiding operators; 
  2. An ordinance that requires new businesses that serve alcohol past 11pm to obtain a conditional use permit with conditions to prevent problematic operations that lead to crime;
  3. All alcohol businesses pay a reasonable, sliding scale cost-recovery fee to fund police enforcement, monitoring and education to prevent problematic operations and crime.

What You Can Do
Attend Wednesday’s meeting —
 Tell your personal stories about how the crime and quality of life impacts have affected you.  Express your outrage at the violent crime, DUI, public drunkenness and other negative impacts that result from the bad business operations.  Demand the City adopt the above land-use policies to provide City control, not Sacramento/ABC control, over how alcohol-licensed businesses operate. (If you do not wish to speak, you can cede your time to others who need extra time.)

Email your comments to the Mayor, City Council, Police Chief and City Attorney: 
kevinfaulconer@sandiego.gov; sherrilightner@sandiego.gov; loriezapf@sandiego.gov; toddgloria@sandiego.gov; myrtlecole@sandiego.gov;  markkersey@sandiego.gov; chriscate@sandiego.gov; scottsherman@sandiego.gov; davidalvarez@sandiego.gov; martiemerald@sandiego.gov; sdpdpolicechief@pd.sandiego.gov; cityattorney@sandiego.gov

(PSLN Committee members are Marti Emerald (Chair), Chris Cate, Todd Gloria and Myrtle Cole, but all of these city officials need to hear our concerns)

For more information contact Scott Chipman at scott@chipman.info


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