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MAY 2013 - ISSUE 5
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In Memory of Deputy Michael Roberts #1433
  
Deputy M. Roberts #1433

mourning 1433 It is with great sadness and sorrow that the Sheriff's Department announced the sudden and tragic death of Deputy Michael Roberts.  In the early morning hours of April 29, 2013, the US Coast Guard received a report of an unmanned boat in the vicinity of the Vallejo Marina.  A search was launched and concluded with the discovery of Deputy Roberts' body in the waters where he loved to fish.

 

Deputy Roberts was sworn in as a deputy sheriff on January 20, 1998.  During his career, Deputy Roberts spent five years serving as a bailiff for the Superior Courts of the City and County of San Francisco and spent the rest of his career working at County Jail #4, 7th floor of the Hall of Justice.

 

Deputy Roberts was a beloved co-worker and dear friend.  He will be  remembered as a great human being who served the people of the City and County of San Francisco with distinction and pride. His beaming smile and positive nature will be greatly missed by all who knew him.  

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Employee Profile: Mimi Carcamo  - Keeping Life Civil for 25 Years

Mimi C.

Every day for the last 25 years in Room 456, on the fourth floor of City Hall, the staff of the San Francisco Sheriff's Department has grown accustomed to hearing the laughter of Mimi Carcamo.

Mimi was hired as a Sheriff's Keeper on a temporary basis for a summer job in 1988, earning $4.25 an hour. Mimi became a permanent employee in August of that same year and with her wealth of information and helpful demeanor she has been trying to make people's lives a little easier ever since. Among her duties, Mimi assists the public and the Civil Unit with the clerical aspect of evictions, temporary restraining orders, leans and garnishment of wages.

Hired through the Catholic Youth Organization Program, Mimi remembers her first real paycheck from the department. When I asked her why, she said, "Because I still have it!"
Mimi says that the reason she likes the Civil Unit of the Sheriff's Department so much is "We are just like family. We are all so different and we are all here to help make people's lives a little easier through the tough times."

Mimi is married with a 12-year old daughter and says she will stay with the Sheriff's Department until her daughter graduates college.

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2013
San Francisco
Sheriff's Department
Information Technology & Support Services
Ross Mirkarimi
A Message from Sheriff  
Ross Mirkarimi
 
In 1962, President Kennedy proclaimed May 15th as National Peace Officers Memorial Day to honor those who not only asked what they could do for their country, but gave their lives in the doing. This month the nation recognizes law enforcement officers who rush into confrontation and danger in the service of others.

Each year brings tragedy to families and communities whose loved ones and valued public servants are killed in the line of duty. Despite the danger, men and women continue to join police and sheriff departments, the highway patrol and other public safety agencies because they believe that they can make a difference--they can diffuse a volatile situation, solve a crime, find a missing person. They know the risk, but they accept the challenge, training for the worst, and working for the best. Often it's a surprise--like the recent ambush in Santa Cruz that claimed the lives of two Sheriff's Deputies, or during a routine traffic stop, or a chance meeting on the street, the first officer to arrive at the scene of desperation and take the full force of the violence unleashed.

On May 6, the San Francisco Sheriff's Department Honor Guard and I attended the 37th Peace Officer's Memorial in Sacramento. Most of the state political officials participated or paid respect. A Stanislaus County Sheriff's Deputy and a California Highway Patrol Officer in Contra Costa County who gave their lives in the line of duty in 2012 were honored. Ten other slain officers from around the state over the years were added to the roster.

As I left this somber tribute, I thought about how the rhythm of our lives can change in an instant, how dangerous work is routine, until it isn't. Then my thoughts turn to the following day in anticipation of the funeral service for our Sheriff's Deputy Michael Roberts. He died in an off duty accident on April 29, leaving a void that can only be replied to by celebrating his life and the 15 year contribution he made to our department and the people of the City and County San Francisco.

As you go about your daily routine, please remember the brave men and women peace officers who put themselves in harm's way so that we may be safer.

On another note, Mother's Day draws near. As a first, the San Francisco Sheriff's Department is inviting the public to join us on Friday, May 10 at 3:30 PM at our Women's Jail, 425 7th Street, as we appreciate an art exhibit by incarcerated mothers and women, and as we unveil new policy aimed at improving custody protocols for expecting mothers and family visitation. 
Peace Officers Memorial Day and National Police Week
Ca_Law Enforcement Memorial  

One law enforcement officer is killed in the line of duty, on average, every 57 hours.  So that these fallen officers are not forgotten for making the ultimate sacrifice, survivors and police agencies across the United States observe Peace Officers' Memorial Day and National Police Week annually.

 

On October 1, 1962, President John F. Kennedy signed into law a bill establishing May 15 as Peace Officers' Memorial Day.  Families, friends and law enforcement agency representatives gather at the National Law Enforcement Officers' Memorial Wall in Washington, D.C. every year to remember those officers who made the ultimate sacrifice.

 

In California, memorial ceremonies have been conducted in Sacramento since 1977.  A memorial statue was built symbolizing the ultimate sacrifice that over 1400 officers have made throughout California's history of statehood.  Inscribed on the front of the California Peace Officers' Memorial are the words "in the line-of-duty."

The San Francisco Sheriff's Department Honor Guard has attended the memorial services in Washington, D.C. in the past and attends the California ceremonies annually.

 

Recently, awareness of National Police Week has increased.  Concerns of Police Officer Survivors (C.O.P.S.) distributes blue ribbons to law enforcement agencies and the California State Sheriffs' Association Foundation (CSSAF) distributes green ribbons to California Sheriffs' Departments. Congress passed legislation so that the American flag can be flown at half-staff on May 15.  Law enforcement agencies across the nation hold events during the week, such as open houses and SWAT team demonstrations.

 

Other national and local events highlight National Police Week.  The Police Unity Tour, a 300 mile bike ride, adheres to the motto "We ride for those who died."  Deputies Heather Webb and Diane Quintero have represented our department previously; Deputy Webb is riding again this year.  The Run to Remember is a locally held event that is a tribute to fallen peace officers.  Some of the proceeds benefit C.O.P.S., which helps survivors of fallen officers.

 

It is important that those of us left behind recognize that these officers did not die in vain, and that we dedicate our lives to continuing their work to protect the innocent and serve with distinction.  That is why we must revisit these unhappy memories each year to reflect on their courage and sacrifice; and, to assure that their loss will not be forgotten, and the survivors will always be a part of the law enforcement family.

SFSD inFocus:  Part Four: County Jail #3
 
Part Four in a series of articles that will serve to inform and educate the public on the San Francisco County Jail system. Look forward to future editions where the other jail facilities will be spotlighted to detail the function and role that it plays in our system.

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County Jail #3 has been known by many names since its opening in 1961. Located on the sixth floor of the Hall of Justice building at 850 Bryant, it was known as City Prison when it was run by the San Francisco Police Department. In 1976, the Sheriff's Department took it over and it became County Jail #1. In 2009, it was renumbered County Jail #3. Because it is located on the sixth floor of the Hall of Justice building, to many visitors, inmates and staff members it is, was, and will always be just "the sixth floor." County Jail #3 is a 459 bed facility and is a linear jail with seventeen tanks arranged down one long mainline. Each tank contains beds, showers, phones, toilets and at least one television.


County Jail #3 is a busy jail. We have a fully staffed medical office that operates round the clock. Nurses roll pill carts up and down the mainline at least four times a day to dispense medication and pick up sick call slips. Psychiatric professionals are assigned to CJ#3 to provide services and activities for the mentally ill.

We offer many services to the inmates housed at the jail. Our Program Coordinator, Angie, supervises our parenting program, yoga, acupuncture, Transthrive, Sage, substance abuse groups and a host of other programs, special events and celebrations. Angie is also a positive presence on the mainline. The San Francisco Sheriff's Department Five Keys Charter High School has an individual study program at County Jail #3 so those who cannot go to San Bruno still have an opportunity to earn their diplomas. County Jail #3 provides a wide variety of spiritual programs to our population thanks to the efforts of Muin Daly, our department Religious Services Coordinator. Catholic, Muslim and Baptist services are offered weekly and representatives from other faiths are always welcome. Prisoner Legal Services also maintains a presence at CJ#3 and assists inmates in getting to the law library and accessing legal information.

The Deputy Sheriffs at County Jail #3 are some of the hardest working people in our department. The minute you cross that gate and hit the mainline there is work to do. Safety is our number one concern and to keep everybody safe, you've got to keep moving. Deputies monitor pill call, food distribution, education activities and laundry exchange. They also do medical escorts, attorney escorts, visiting pulls, commissary distribution, count, mail call, and inspections. In addition, they are expected to maintain the peace in the jail, sometimes at great risk to themselves. The best deputies are great listeners. It is what we do all day. We listen for sounds of distress, to stories of troubled lives, and lots of accounts of innocence. It doesn't cost anything to listen but it can pay off by saving a life. We also are doing a lot of watching. Even when nobody thinks we are watching, we are watching. Does anything in the housing area look abnormal? Why is that inmate pacing at three in the morning? Why is that group of men gathered in the back of the cell?

Besides running a full scale jail, we also keep custody records for every inmate, tracking and documenting court appearances as well as the outcome of that appearance. We deal with records from hundreds of local, state and federal agencies. There is no "super computer" doing the work, just dedicated and knowledgeable people. Twenty four hours a day our staff is processing people in and out of our jail, documenting records, inputting data and calculating sentencing dates.  

 

As a deputy assigned to County Jail #3, one minute you could be restraining a mentally ill subject who is trying to harm himself and the next minute you could be transferring and interpreting complicated legal information into an inmate's court file, which makes County Jail #3 a very interesting place to work.  

New Deputy Testing Wraps Up  
 

The department is currently wrapping up a vigorous testing cycle for Deputy Sheriff entry-level positions. Applications were accepted for 5 days between February and March 2013, using the City's SFGOV JOBAPS website. Approximately 1900 applications were received in this short time as a result of active recruitment and community outreach by the department over the past four months.

SFSD Candidate Jumps Sawhorse
Deputy candidate jumping over an obstacle on his way to the finish.

Candidates who met the minimum qualifications for the position were scheduled to take the California Peace Officers Standards & Training (POST) Post Entry-Level Law Enforcement Test Battery (PELLETB) written examination. These examinations were scheduled over a five-day period at the Testing for Occupational & Performance Center (TOPP) on Cesar Chavez Street. Applicants who passed the written test advanced to the Physical Agility Test (PAT) and the oral interview at the San Bruno facilities. Tests were given over a period of three weekends last month. The PAT test consisted of a 500-yard run which had to be completed within two minutes or less and was held at the Skyline Community College track. Following the run, candidates were required to complete an obstacle course within 50 seconds or less and a dummy drag, which required the candidate to lift and drag a 165 pound dummy 32 feet in 30 seconds or less. Any candidate who failed any component of the PAT was given one chance to re-mediate. 


Candidates who successfully complete the PELLETB, PAT and oral interview, will complete an on-line Personal History Questionnaire and will be provided a background package. Candidates must complete all test components in order to proceed in the selection process. While each successful candidate is placed on an eligible list, they must still pass an extensive POST-mandated background investigation to determine if they meet the high standards required to be considered for employment with the department. Candidates who pass the mandated background process will then meet with Sheriff Mirkarimi prior to being offered a permanent position. Ask any deputy sheriff and they will tell you the process to becoming an entry-level deputy is a long and arduous one, but the reward of being a part of the fine team of Sheriff's Department employees is well worth the journey.

Field Support Services Division Canine Unit: Focus on Safety


Since 1998, the San Francisco Sheriff's Department Canine Unit has been working to detect drugs and explosives at facilities and buildings where services are provided by the Sheriff.

 

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Our Canine Unit is trained and certified to detect drugs and explosives while conducting searches of vehicles, residential, commercial and government properties, secondary devices and parcels. Our Canine Unit narcotic detection dogs are trained and certified in the detection of many different types of drugs as well as to detect commercial and clandestine explosives material.


The SFSD Canine Unit works closely with many other law enforcement agencies. In addition to our law enforcement partners in California, the SFSD Canine Unit works with the Federal Bureau of Investigations, Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms, Secret Service, Department of State, United State Coast Guard, US Marshall's Service, United State Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and the Federal Protective Services Police, among others.

The SFSD Canine Unit is an important part of public safety in San Francisco, and the department is proud of their hard work. 

 
2013 San Francisco Sheriff's Department 
Information Technology Support and Services
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Questions and comments to 
david.hardy@sfgov.org