As many of you may be aware, Chief Greg Suhr is an avid proponent of community engagement, especially any community engagement or activity involving kids. The chief’s belief and mine as well is that the more engaging and involved the Police Department can be with our youth, the better opportunity we have for a positive impact on the lives of the future adults of San Francisco. To further our community engagement activities, especially involving the youth of our district, Northern Station is partnering with the community on two current and future projects.
Our department is in the midst of a hiring increase — an increase that is sorely necessary. As part of this hiring increase and to further our community engagement, Northern Station has partnered with the Police Academy and the newly hired recruit officers to begin their community involvement long before they hit the streets. In cooperation with Capt. David Lazar, the commanding officer of the Academy, Northern Station officers along with a number of recruits in training have been visiting the afterschool programs in the Northern district to participate in afterschool activities with the youth of the district. In early April, 15 recruits from the current academy class partnered with three officers from Northern Station and visited three afterschool programs held by the Buchanan YMCA. During the visits, the recruit officers were introduced to the youth of the Northern District and had an opportunity to assist with homework, read to the children, and play games and activities during the afternoon. The response from the children and the involved officers was extremely positive. Over the next five months, the visits to the afterschool programs will continue every few weeks and will culminate with the entire recruit class participating in a backpack giveaway to over 2,000 youths in early August. Our hope with this program is that the youth of the district will have an opportunity to see police officers in a positive light, while at the same time our newest officers will obtain valuable tools for community engagement and communication that will reap benefits for them throughout their careers.
The second project in which Northern Station is partnering with the community is the Collective Impact Program that helps fund the Mo Magic Program for the youth in the Western Addition. This program predominantly serves low income and high-risk youth, offering opportunities for civic engagement, enrichment, community service, and youth development.
Some of the activities that the Collective Impact program will provide over the summer include field trips, book distributions, the backpack giveaway, transitional youth speaking activities, and other events supporting youth throughout the summer. Recently, Northern Station officers participated in a basketball tournament fundraiser at Ella Hill Hutch with other City agencies, with the proceeds benefiting the Mo Magic programs under Collective Impact. In May, many members of Northern Station will participate in another fundraiser supporting Collective Impact, and it’s a fundraiser I’m mentioning to you in hopes that you may be able to support it as well.
On May 9, Collective Impact will have its third annual fund raiser “More than Magic.” The fundraiser is the largest event Collective Impact has, and the proceeds are a majority of what supports the program throughout the summer. During the fundraiser, there will be a More than Magic Awards and Reception attended by Supervisor London Breed, Supervisor Mark Farrell, former Supervisor Bevan Dufty, and other city dignitaries. The event will take place at the Fort Mason Center at the General’s Residence. I encourage you to buy individual tickets to attend the event, or, if possible, become a sponsor for the event to help the low-income and high-risk youth of our district. I also encourage you to pass on this information to any individuals or corporations that you believe may be able to help in this extremely worthwhile fundraiser. Remember, many of us are fortunate, sometimes more fortunate than others. This fundraiser will allow those of us more fortunate to assist the less fortunate and im-prove their lives through opportunity, enrichment, and development.