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January 2016 - ISSUE 36
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to Our  New Hires and to Our Retirees:
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New Hires:

Sheriff Vicki L. Hennessy
Undersheriff Carl Koehler
Eileen Hirst, Chief of Staff
Ted Toet, Administrative Assistant

Lt. R. Macaulay    
36 years

Sgt. B. Kester 
21 years

     Sgt. W. Weatherly      
27 years

Sgt. A. Ficher 
29 years

Sr. Dep. M. Benton
13 years

 Dep. M. Brown   
25 years

   Dep. C. Tiamson    
27 years

    Dep. S. Gorostiza, Jr.     
22 years

 Institutional Police Officer
        G. Low Jr.      
20 years

Security Guard
     F. Madamba Jr.    
18 years


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© 2016
San Francisco
Sheriff's Department
A Message from Sheriff  
Vicki Hennessy

Today marks the end of my third week in office. I am deeply honored to have been elected Sheriff, and as the first woman Sheriff of San Francisco, to have been sworn in by Senator Dianne Feinstein, the first woman Mayor of this great city. But, most of all, I am honored to have been chosen to lead the exceptional men and women of the San Francisco Sheriff's Department.
I want our Sheriff's Department staff to know how much I admire the work that each of you performs, day in and day out, to make San Francisco a better place. Together, I hope we can continue to build on the strong foundation you have provided to keep us moving forward as a professional, efficient, well-trained department, comprised of staff who are responsive, humane, competent, dedicated public servants. I am pleased that former Chief Deputy Carl Koehler is returning as Undersheriff and former Chief of Staff Eileen Hirst is resuming that position.
As most of you know, I have had a long professional career in the Sheriff's Department and I am lucky enough to know many of you. In the coming weeks you can expect to see me around the facilities and units. Please be prepared as I may drop in at any time, on any watch.
This edition of the newsletter begins with a story on the recent Five Keys Charter High School graduations. Almost before I knew it, I was the emcee at the largest community graduation ever, and then, a few days later, I emceed the largest in-custody graduation. At both, families and friends of the graduates came together to celebrate a milestone that many of us take for granted. One speaker said it very well, "...the graduation is not an event, it is part of a process...". Hopefully, for most, it will be the first step on a pro-social path that leads to a better life.
Also take a look at the article about peer support. Captain Paulson and Sgt. Gunn did a great job creating and later, with the help of Sgt. O'Shea, enhancing our program to make it meaningful and sustainable. Participation is completely private and I urge employees who may be facing a personal crisis to consider reaching out.
Don't miss the items about the great work of the Sheriff's Bureau of Building Services in preparing for El Nino, and the look back at the past year at the Women's Resource Center.
Finally, I wish you and your loved ones a very happy 2016, and look forward to success in our work together.

Education is Key
Eighty-four students from the Five Keys' 21 Bay Area community campuses -- our largest graduating class yet -- received their diplomas before a proud audience of family, friends, and mentors.
This winter, the SFSD's Five Keys Charter High School graduated their largest Bay Area community and in-custody classes ever, while also celebrating a milestone -- a new, larger public venue for our growing community graduate commencement ceremony.
Five Keys' community grads, comprising 84 students from the school's 21 community satellite campuses in the Bay Area, walked before a proud audience of family, friends, and mentors at St. Mary's Cathedral in San Francisco on January 20, 2016. This is the first time that the school's community graduation, which has outgrown its previous venue at the Hall of Justice, has been held at an independent community site.
The commencement ceremony for Five Keys' largest ever in-custody graduating class of 39 graduates took place on January 28, 2016, at the San Francisco Hall of Justice. Providing inmates with access to education helps create safer communities, reduces tax dollars spent on incarceration, and affords incarcerated men and women the skills they'll need to rejoin their communities and families upon release.
Unique in its charter to provide high school education to adults, Five Keys currently serves 3,000 individuals in- and out of custody in San Francisco. Students who begin their studies while in-custody can finish working towards their diploma once out of custody at Five Keys' community satellite campuses.
Five Keys Charter High School Graduation. SF Gate.

Peer Support
Sergeants M. O'Shea and M. Gunn both serve on the board of the California Peer Support Association which teaches first responders to support one another by talking through their personal issues together.
With three SFSD department members sitting on the board of directors of the California Peer Support Association (CPSA), the SFSD is well represented among our California first responder peers.
Sgt. M. Gunn has been on the board since 2009, serving as the talented "hi-tech" guy. He currently holds the office of Treasurer. Captain K. Paulson was elected to the board in 2014 and quickly vaulted to the position of president. Sgt. M. O'Shea was elected to the board in 2015 as the Northern California representative. Sgt. O'Shea's function is to network with member and non-member agencies in the region.
The CPSA's primary function is to provide training in peer support methodology and in areas like critical incident response and line-of-duty death notification. Peers support one another by talking through personal issues. CPSA members are trained to employ active listening skills, to avoid "solving" or taking on the other person's problems, and when appropriate, to refer the individual to professional resources.
Captain Paulson and Sgt. Gunn were founders of the SFSD's peer support group.

"Peer supporters, throughout the state, are heroes," Captain Paulson reminds us. "They don't always know which life they saved, but they are the ones who talk to the firefighter with a drinking problem, or the EMT with a disabled child, or the midnight deputy whose wife attempts to take her own life. The peer supporters are the ones who listen when even the family of the public safety officer does not know how to listen. That listening, that empathy, is the real community work. In the hectic Code 3 pace of emergency service workers, the peer supporter helps others learn how to pause, take a breath, and reflect on all that we do."

The SFSD has 45 trained CPSA members among our ranks. We hope to offer a basic peer support training class for new members as well as an updated skills training class for our seasoned members.
CPSA is dedicated to the advancement, promotion, and enhancement of peer support and peer support programs for law enforcement, fire, and allied emergency service personnel.

Women's Best Friend
The SF SPCA's Animal Assistance Therapy program works mostly with dogs, but the program has also qualified therapy cats and bunnies -- even a therapy pig!
Engaging with an animal has been shown to help reduce depression, anxiety, and stress, lower one's heart rate and blood pressure, heighten motivation, improve self-esteem, and increase the desire to communicate. That's why the San Francisco Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA)'s Animal Assisted Therapy (AAT) program has been invited to pilot a pet therapy class at our women's facility at County Jail #2. The pilot began on January 11, 2016, and features two very cuddly instructors: Suzie, a Chihuahua, Poodle, Spaniel mix, and Ollie, a Labradoodle (and, of course, their SPCA-provided volunteer handlers).

"The Animal Assisted Therapy department at the SF SPCA is thrilled to partner with the San Francisco Sheriff's Department in bringing therapy dogs to the women's unit," said AAT Assistant Manager, Christina Chavez. "We feel that this is an added benefit to their current recovery programs. Our first visit was met with great enthusiasm by the women and the staff, and we look forward to future visits and expanding the program to more inmates."
AAT works mostly with dogs, but the program boasts the talents of five therapy cats, three therapy bunnies, and one therapy bird. The program has even qualified a therapy pig! The AAT pilot class at CJ#2 is an extension of SF SPCA animal therapy work already ongoing at CJ#5.
The AAT program has operated at the SF SPCA for over 30 years, conducting approximately 300-400 visits each month to hospitals, community centers, senior homes, schools, psychiatric facilities, and more. They have 300 active volunteers and visit about 200 sites within San Francisco. We are pleased to welcome them into our facilities to provide unconditional love to our inmates, many of whom have experienced emotional trauma in their lives.

Celebrate Giving
SWAP provides eligible sentenced individuals with an opportunity to perform community service in lieu of incarceration.
Many observe Black Friday and Cyber Monday, days when people celebrate the art of "getting." Since 2012, communities have also been celebrating Giving Tuesday, a day to join together and concentrate on "giving."
Last December, SFSD's Community Programs Unit arranged for Sheriff's Work Alternative Program (SWAP) workers to participate in Giving Tuesday by working at San Francisco's Stern Grove on park beautification, erosion control, pruning, weeding, and clearing creek beds.
SWAP provides eligible sentenced individuals with an opportunity to perform community service in lieu of incarceration. In addition to the usual SWAP tasks of sweeping streets, washing cars, encampment clean-up, and the like, our Community Programs Unit seeks out new opportunities to improve our neighborhoods while also putting a human face on SWAP efforts.

When It Rains...
City first responders in December 2015, at the site of street flooding due to a clogged storm drain. SFSD building services staff are working hard to keep our facilities waterproof this wet winter.
The Sheriff's Bureau of Building Services (SBBS) has performed storm planning and repairs ahead of this winter's El Nino storm tracks. 
In late summer 2015, SBBS asked Caltrans and the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission to clean chronically clogged storm drains around our downtown facilities. The drains at 70 Oak Grove and the Women's Resource Center have since been cleared.
Roofing companies were so busy through the summer that they weren't able to provide bids before the rains arrived! As a result, the downtown facilities will have to wait until spring for roof repair work. Many leaks at our downtown facilities are caused by corrosion of rooftop equipment; we are therefore initiating capital projects which will begin replacing the corroded equipment in two years.
The new San Bruno County Jail #5 front gate project has added many new erosion features to the facility entrance. Our crews have patched problematic sheet metal joints at CJ#5 that caused numerous leaks at the jail last winter.
This will be the first year with significant rainfall after the demolition of the old San Bruno County Jail #3, built in 1934, which had a large dewatering system. The surrounding facilities are being monitored by SBBS staff for water-related issues.
In spite of the roofing industry backlog, SBBS has been able to arrange for repairs to the original 1989 roof atop the prefabricated dormitory-style County Jail #6 in San Bruno.

Women's Resource Center - a Year in Review

Mini Spa Day at the SFSD's Women's Resource Center in July of 2015. Participating women were provided free foot massage baths with aromatherapy!
2015 was a wonderful year at our Women's Resource Center (WRC). Here's a sampling of events put on by WRC -- at no cost to those in our community identifying as women:
Financial Workshop: Taught by an independent agent from Transamerica, and geared toward low-income women, participants were instructed on the "Rule of 72 " (describing how to find the number of years required to double your money at a given interest rate) as well as how to stop loss and begin to save at whatever your income level.
Books of Wonder: Where community members brought in and read from books that changed their lives, including inspiring stories of triumph, loss, isolation, and even questioning one's own existence.
Housing Workshop: Where women were given advice on how to navigate the City's housing and shelter system. Instruction and discussion shed light on who gets single room occupancy housing (SRO's), who gets into shelters, and who does not.
Mini Spa Day: Where women in shelters and transitional houses were given information on the importance of taking care of their feet, and were provided free foot massage baths with aromatherapy.

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