SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — Law enforcement agencies in the Bay Area’s three largest cities have strongly favored education over criminal enforcement of the emergency shelter-in-place order issued nearly a month ago.
The San Francisco Police Department recently led one of the most aggressive and visible crackdowns on an out-of-compliance business over the weekend, raiding an illegal, underground nightclub frequented by hundreds of people in the city’s Bayview neighborhood.READ MORE: Oakland City Council Votes to Defund Police, Stripping More Than $17M from Department Budget
“This activity indicates a willful and reckless disregard for the health order,” said Police Chief William Scott. The police department in conjunction with the City Attorney’s Office released time-lapse video from outside the warehouse building showing dozens of cars and people entering the parking lot during the overnight hours.
The police department’s SWAT team raided the club Saturday seizing, “DJ equipment, fog machines, nine gambling machines with $650 in them, pool tables” according to Chief Scott.
The raid stands in stark contrast to the tenor of most police departments’ enforcement of the emergency measure which has leaned heavily on education versus citations and ticketing.
A spokesperson for the San Jose Police Department says officers have issued just two tickets even though they have investigated more than 1,400 complaints of violations of the order. The Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office has issued six citations. A spokesperson for the sheriff’s office says those citations were issued in conjunction with other violations like vandalism or theft.READ MORE: 165 Pounds Of Fireworks Seized, Man Arrested In Oakland Crackdown
The Oakland Police Department says so far they have issued zero tickets.
As the shelter-in-place order enters its fifth week, parks, open space preserves, hiking trails and beaches have become focal point of education and enforcement efforts. Many parks remain closed, their gates padlocked and common recreation equipment wrapped in yellow caution tape.
Charles Kane says he sees dozens of cars and people turned away from San Jose’s popular Alum Rock Park each day.
“No one’s safe. So, why continue to spread it so you can see some trees and a nice view. Why risk that?,” Kane says.
But others have grown restless and have begun to chafe at the restrictions.MORE NEWS: Menlo Park Fire Chief: Time Is Short in Search for Survivors of Florida Condo Collapse
“If everyone is following the rules — wearing masks, wearing gloves, keeping your distance — it shouldn’t be a problem,” said Sarah De Leon who showed up for a hike at Alum Rock Park and got turned around.