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David Chiu

MTA Releases MOU with SFPD

2:58 PM PDT on June 12, 2009

a cop on Muni _1.jpgA rare sighting of an SFPD officer on Muni. Flickr photo: moppet65535

More than a month after it was promised, the MTA has released a memorandum of understanding (PDF) with the San Francisco Police Department, an agreement that will give the transit agency and its chief Nat Ford control over SFPD officers who are supposed to be patrolling Muni.

For the first time, the MTA will deploy officers assigned to the Traffic Company, and name a Security and Enforcement Director, a position that will most likely be taken by Tony Parra, the SFPD Deputy Chief, who already holds a similar title:

The Traffic Company will provide law enforcement services to support theSFMTA’s public safety and policing priorities.  These services areintended to supplement existing general law enforcement services already providedby the SFPD to ensure public safety.  During the term of the MOU, the SFPDwill assign one captain, four lieutenants, 12 sergeants and 85 police officersto the Traffic Division.  The SFMTA will pay the salary and benefits ofthese police officers through interdepartmental work orders.

The SFPD has been under fire for raiding Muni's budget, charging the agency more than $83 million in work orders, including services not related to Muni. BOS Prez David Chiu said it was "befuddling" the two agencies never had any kind of written agreement -- providing no accountability of the process -- but announced at a May 12th supervisors meeting that the agencies would produce an MOU "within 24 hours."

The MOU also calls for SFPD officers to cease providing protection for city-owned garages -- which amounted to a $300,000 work order -- but allows them to continue some parking enforcement at night, mostly blocked driveways.

The MOU will be considered at Tuesday's MTA Board meeting.

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