SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — San Francisco will allow businesses to hire sheriff’s deputies to provide more law enforcement presence to help stem retail theft and smash-and-grab incidents.

Supervisor Ahsha Safai introduced legislation authorizing on-duty deputies to serve as private guards for businesses, which involves a partnership between the San Francisco Police Department and Sheriff’s Office.

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On Tuesday, Safai joined Sheriff Paul Miyamoto and Police Chief Bill Scott on the steps of City Hall to announce the legislation as part of agreement among a working group representing police, sheriff’s officers, City Hall, labor unions and the NAACP.

The Board of Supervisors passed the legislation later Tuesday on a 7-3 vote.

Both Miyamoto and Scott said they are committed to preventing other violent smash-and-grab thefts similar to the one in Union Square last month.

“The fact of the matter is this. The SF Police Department was unable to meet that demand for what was asked of us and now we have our partners from the San Francisco Sheriff’s Department that will help alleviate those shortages,” said Scott.

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Safai said the plan would allow for hiring deputies to patrol on an occasional basis and for special events, serving as a deterrent to potential thieves.

“We’re not going to incarcerate our way out of this problem,” said Safai. “This is meant to be a deterrent. This is meant to be more eyes and ears on the street.”

The plan would be paid for by private funding and Miyamoto said would not affect his office’s current staffing levels.

“This is voluntary overtime provided by our staff as opportunities to sign up for and get out into the community to protect the retail establishments,” said Miyamoto.

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Safai said police and sheriff’s officers will come together with a memorandum of understanding over the next 60 days to set the parameters of this program in terms of arrests, bookings, and follow up.