I just spoke with captain Stephen Tacchini at Mission Station by phone. He says he was misquoted by the officers who started writing citations for public drinking in the park a few weeks back. “They were not told by me to start issuing citations for drinking in the park.” He says the policy is to “advise people about the City park alcohol policy.” Some of the motor bike patrols were misinformed, he said.
Yes, they are patrolling the park more often lately, but his main concern is curbing drug sales. And yes, his officers are enforcing the 10 pm curfew.
He said nothing about dampening spirits.
At 5 pm this evening I spotted two patrol officers issuing citations for public drinking to two men sitting on the lawn just above Gay Beach off 20th street. These guys were neither obviously drunk, rowdy or committing any other nuisance.
The officers told me that Mission Station Chief, Steve Tacchini had issued new orders this morning ordering the drinking in Dolores Park to be brought under control. “Park neighbors had come to him complaining” the officer said.
Up till today, officers patrolling the park have told me they would not issue citations unless the offender was noticeably drunk, belligerent or violent. Public urination was another quick ticket to court. Captain Tacchini told a group of Mission Dolores Neighbors at a August 7 meeting in Supervisor Bevan Dufty’s office that I attende, that while violence would not be tolerated, citing people for drinking and smoking in Dolores was not a priority. Something must have happened in the two weeks to have changed his mind.