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Outgoing San Francisco Sheriff’s Legacy Includes Innovative Jail Programs

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Michael Hennessey

Michael Hennessey

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Doug began his career as a copy boy at the New York Times, and then...
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SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS)— After 32 years in office, retiring San Francisco Sheriff Mike Hennessey, is looking back on some of the city’s innovative jail programs.

One of which includes a mortgage-related eviction assistance program instilled by his department that handles the issue in a comparatively sensitive way.

It appears that not even the high-priced city by the Bay is immune to the housing crisis.

Hennessey explained that after being used to enforcing evictions for people not paying their rent, that he now sees evictions as often as three or four times a week, for city dwellers who have not paid their mortgage.

KCBS’ Doug Sovern Reports:

“We have definitely seen an uptick in the number of evictions that we can see are foreclosure related,” he said.

The retiring sheriff said sometimes they’ll give people an extra week, time to offer them mental health counseling if need be, or help them find a low-cost moving company.

It’s a sensitive issue, and often a difficult one, for the deputies who have no choice but to enforce court-ordered eviction notices.

“In the past year, we came across three suicides at eviction sites. It can be a pretty traumatic job for deputy sheriffs,” he said.

Hennessey said his deputies can still use their discretion to stall, in certain cases where their may be children involved, the elderly or the mentally ill.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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