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tv   [untitled]    September 19, 2011 6:30pm-7:00pm PDT

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recommendation. so moved. madame clerk, item no. 5. >> a resolution authorizing the district attorney to renew its current agreement with the california victims' compensation and government claims board, an agency of the state of california, for a revolving fund and the amount of $75,000 to be used to pay for verified funeral and burial expenses for eligible homicide victims and emergency relocation for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault from the july 1, 2011 through june 30th, 2014. supervisor mirkarimi: good morning. welcome. >> i'm from the district attorney's office. we have a contract with the state victim's compensation program. the revolving fund is full of money that allows us to make payments faster to providers, victims, and their families. if there is a homicide, we are able to pull the money out for
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the funeral burial expenses within a couple of days, otherwise we would have to wait for a longer process. this pool of money allows us to do that. homicide cases, domestic violence, and sexual assault cases. supervisor mirkarimi: sometimes my office and i know others have had to intervene to get assistance for victims families who do not have the wherewithal to pay for funeral expenses and other accessory costs. does it get to a point where we exceed the capacity of money made available to the city in being able to assist that population, especially if the population is increase relative to the homicide rate? >> know, we have not run out of funds to assist homicide victims and their families. i would imagine it's a rare case when there is outside involvement needed to get these expenses paid. for example, when a homicide
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happens, the crisis response team responds immediately, they go up to the scene of every homicide. we have a close working relationship with the crt professionals and they will walk family members to our office. if that does not happen, our advocates reject immediately, but the contact information from the medical examiner, and start making contact as soon as a homicide has occurred. this is something we work on quickly. the homicides, we do not wait. the only wrinkle is the state has tightened up their interpretation of their guidelines for eligibility. so whereas a case in the past where there is a homicide and the victim may be was engaged in a drug deal, that would still go through. today, that would be tougher to push through because the state is looking at whether the victim contributed or was involved in the crime. >> all the dollars associated our state driven, is there any match local dollars at all?
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>> there is no local match. >> is there a need for added assistance of local dollars or what is provided for by the state is sufficient? >> in terms of their appalling fund, that has been working well. when we get to item number six, the general victim compensation staffing, the dollars, we have taken a cut to that grand, so we have had to pick up one of the positions on the general fund, so there is additional need their. >>supervisor campos: i'm wonderg if you can give us information as far as how many families have benefited from this service? >> our data is not real good. the state keeps the data. what i can tell you is for fiscal year 2009-2010, we paid out over $3 million in benefits
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to victims, their families and providers. that was for a total of 1120 cases filed in san francisco. that's not the number of victims we see, that is closer to 4000, but the number of applications was 1720. -- supervisor campos: what is the rate at which applications are approved or denied? what is the percentage in terms of applications that are approved? >> i don't know the answer to that and it depends on the benefit. in this last fiscal year, the numbers are lower for approval because of state guidelines. supervisor campos: what i am trying to get to is to have an understanding of how what we are doing relates to the need that is out there and i think that requires having a better sense
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of how many people are applying, how many people are seeking help, who actually ends up getting the help, and to the extent applications are denied, what the basis for that and i'll is -- the bases for that and i'll are. -- for that denial are. >> i don't know if i will have the breakdown, but i think we do have the percentage of approvals and denials. supervisor campos: i think it is something we as a city should be aware of and have that information. to the extent this is a state- run program, where there may be a need where a gap needs to be filled, we need to be mindful or aware of that. i don't know where the money for something like that would come from, but it's something we should consider and certainly look into. to do that, to have a sense of
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whether or not there's a need for the city to step in and supplement what the city is doing, we need to find out what the need is and we need to get a better sense of the way of the land. thank you very much. supervisor cohen: following along the lines of the supervisor campos, a want to know which department manages this data. >> it is the california victim compensation claims board. supervisor cohen: is this a politically appointed board? >> is appointed by the governor. supervisor cohen: all seats? >> yes. supervisor cohen: do you have the information on what the average payment to each family is? >> i do not. i don't know if they would have it. supervisor cohen: so say my son is killed and i live in public
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housing. i make an application, where do i find that application? >> in the d.a.'s office. supervisor cohen: then who reviews it? >> the claims staff employed by the d.a.'s office. supervisor cohen: then what happens? >> it will determine eligibility and send it to the state. supervisor cohen: does the state have final say? do they have the ability to overturn the decision made at a local level? >> they do. supervisor cohen: i suspect you probably don't know what that ratio is. >> i do not. supervisor mirkarimi: just picking up on the threat of this discussion, who advocates for the victims' families to the state? is that you? >> yes. that is the advocates in the victims' services division. because of the problems we're having now with the state's tightening up their guidelines, advocates have become experts on the appeal process. they're ready to assist them
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throughout the process. >> i would think part of -- supervisor mirkarimi: i would think part of that advocacy would be to be well equipped with statistics as to who is getting the kind of funding necessary and is getting rejected. i think that would empower san francisco to be more vocal either to the state or signal to the city government that state is not helping to the degree they should so maybe we need to step in. i have to tell you, less than one month ago, i had to spend a very sad morning with the mother whose son was murdered in hayes valley. she was very distressed and it was hard to have a measure discussion, but she was not getting assistance. her office did have to call on the expenses that she felt completely overwhelmed, and very distressed about.
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not that i expect your office to be the ones that fix it all, but it bubbles up quite a bit that we have had to intervene from our office over the years to try to usher people through the process. i do not believe this is as smooth as it sounds like, and i have a feeling there's a larger population out there getting rejected then we are aware of. it would be nice to know that for sure because it is anecdotal. >> i think it would be nice to have the data. the process is rarely smooth because you're dealing with families that have suffered a devastating loss. the first time they come to our office, sometimes they don't even remember they have been there. it's not uncommon for them to go to another office and say no is helping me when they have been held to the rest of our ability. but we cannot help everything and we cannot make the pain go away. we're always open to calls from
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other agencies for assistance, but those advocates, especially on homicide, i am positive they reached out to that mother before they called you. supervisor mirkarimi: i think it helps to tie the loop up so the d.a.'s office and the victim's witness assistant does not feel alone in this process, that there would be a more collaborative effort so we are at least half of the game, especially if the state is going through the kind of fiscal crisis is going through. that least prepares us so that in the budget committee, which i sit on, we are able to then anticipate potential need. it seems to be relative to the violence rate and homicide rate we have been experiencing, and it has been seesawing quite a bit. >> we were collectively, so we will accept any help that is available.
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. supervisor mirkarimi: we may want to have a different relationship so that binds the officers and potentially criminal justice agencies, so that they're a little more alert to the fact that this is a need that needs to be addressed. thank you. we appreciate everything. i do not believe we have anymore questions. any public comment on this item? i did not call the next one, so -- i am ok for now. any public comment? public comment is closed. can we take this without objection? so moved. madame clerk, which call in #6? >> item 6, resolution authorizing the office of the district attorney retroactively accepting to expand this
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$714,138 allocated from the california victim compensation and government claims board for a project entitled the joint powers agreement for july 1st, 2011 through june 30th, 2012. >> this is the grant that funds of the staff in the d.a.'s office to handle the applications and all of the bills and outreach that goes on with providers. as i said earlier, the amount of the grant was cut by 5% and we are currently -- which currently holds seven staff members whereas before it was able to pay for eight. we still have eight working on the program because that is what is needed to make it work. supervisor campos: why is the grant retroactive? >> i think that was a timing issue. it has taken that long to get here. we have been doing the load all
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along and there has not been a gap in service. supervisor cohen: how many people on staff will this grant cover? >> 7. supervisor cohen: and you are not looking to expand or contract staff? >> we have had eight for a number of years, but only seven are covered by the grand -- to the grant. supervisor cohen: how is the eighth covered? >> to the federal fund. supervisor mirkarimi: the you have a volunteer program? sometimes i hear about people who are motivated by what happens in their neighborhood and want to help. maybe through internship there a particular criteria that is trained, maybe you could update us about that. >> we have a very robust intern and volunteer program. we currently have six or seven volunteers working on this program, which, without them, i
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don't know what we would do in terms of phone calls and data entry. we do use that and it supports a lot of our operations. supervisor mirkarimi: thank you. keep up the good work. any other public comment? public comment is closed. colleagues, can we take this without objection? so moved. madame clerk, item number seven. >> item #7 is an ordinance amending the san francisco police code by adding sections 4511 dissections613.9.5 to add findings to ordnances requiring a handgun to be kept in a locked container or disabled with a trigger lock and prohibiting the sale of enhanced lethality ammunition. supervisor mirkarimi: the purpose is to add a findings backed by research of two separate, existing laws. one requires handguns to be kept
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in locked containers or disabled with a trigger lock. the other, which prohibits the sale of the hands of lethality ammunition, the most common of which are hollow point bullets. in 2008, the supreme court decision change the interpretation of the second amendment to mean that it protected an individual's rights to possess a gun for self- defense. since then, gun advocates have been challenging local gun laws across the nation, including san francisco, which is why i teamed up with the city attorney's office so we can fortify our defense of reasonable gun safety laws. this ordinance is needed to clarify the board of supervisors on going intend to reflect updated research to ensure existing gun laws in the police code are for look -- are fully enforceable. there is ample evidence these laws are needed now more than ever and they will save countless lives every year. in addition to several shootings
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in august, a man was shot a forty-niners game we heard about when the police chief was on which made national news about insufficient staffing at a tailgate party that erupted. in july, at least eight innocent bystanders were hit by stray bullets, two of them were children, one was in my district, which are is absolutely livid about and visited in san francisco general hospital. fortunately, she survived. a north beach woman was hit by a bullet that passed through her body. it fortunately did not cause life-threatening injuries, but the police department confirmed they were hollow point bullets that hit her. they are illegal in my mind and would not have passed through her body because it would have expanded and a much greater damage and would have then possibly life-threatening. each year, there are hundreds of gun-related injuries in san francisco and we can only guess how many would be fatalities if
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it were easier for people to buy hollow point bullets. with regard to the locked container and trigger locks, dozens of studies show keeping a loaded door unlocked done in the home is associated with an increased risk of a gun-related injuries or death. less than one year ago, and 8- year-old boy found a gun in his house, took it outside in a play yard and shot himself in the stomach. another personally visited and who luckily survived, that was a tragedy. the sad truth is that guns left at home are often used in suicides or against friends and family and it is these incidences we are trying to prevent. we have a number of speakers today that include the following -- the deputy city attorney, the city attorney's office, which we appreciate for their hard work in arriving at this particular reintroduction of our laws. the san francisco police
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department officer, san francisco general surgeon resident and trauma researcher, and we are familiar that there are a number of other people here to speak -- i would like to go ahead and invite you to help introduce this and we can go from there. >> thank you, supervisor. i am currently employed as a san francisco police officer. i started my law enforcement career back in november of 1970 with the oakland police department. i worked in special investigations and crime reduction in that city and retired in 1991 and went to work for the california department of justice. while with the california department justice, i worked in gangs and organized-crime until
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2000 when i was promoted to a position of special agent supervisor. i assisted in founding in putting together the firearms division in sacramento. during that time, i testified on numerous occasions before the legislature and its superior and federal court on firearms issues, prohibited possessions, ballistics, and assault weapons identification and operations. over those times, i from a 2000 to 2008, i sat on the committees that approved storage locks and safes for the sales in california and requirements they have to pass to be certified for sale in this state. during that time, we were given the information on all accidental shootings that occurred within the state. what was predominately clear to us is that a number of those
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shootings were the fact that those guns were accessed by persons who were unaware of the aspects and operations of the firearm and the fact they could not tell if the firearm was loaded or not. during that time, laws were passed for delivery of the firearms through the firearms safety certificate. not only did they have to take a test to acquire a firearm safety certificate to purchase the gun, prior to delivery of the gun, that person has to go through a hands-on, objective test with dummy ammunition to show they know how to load, unload, and secure the firearm in their home. during the passage of those laws, a section was added that, during the sale of the gun, the firearm has to be supplied with a certified lock, certified by the state of california, or the
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person can bring a lock in that shows a certified number on it, certified by the state of california, or they can sign an affidavit with the model and co. of the gun say they have at home that would allow them to take the gun home without having to have those requirements of a lock on site at the delivery time. one of the easiest access to a firearm in the home through a safe is through an electronic keypad lock for a firearm safe, which is a small safe that allows a person to keep a firearm in the safe, relatively accessible with a digital combination only known to persons who are the owner or someone else who is allowed to know the combination for that safe. there are saves which are relatively accessible to the person who knows the combination but keeps other people who are unaware of the operations or loaded capabilities of the gun
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away from a firearm. in addressing the hollow point issue, hollow point ammunition, over the last 41 years in law enforcement, i have been involved in numerous armed confrontations, shootings, so on and so forth and experience them myself and investigated them. one thing we have found is hollow point ammunition expands as it hits whatever medium it strikes, whether it is closing, flash, and it expands. normally in 38-caliber, it will try to expand in diameter so that it causes a larger temporary wound cavity in the object it hits. that temporary wound cavity causes incapacitation in the target and thus allows the cessation or incapacitation to start and the altercation to cease.
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that's the efficiency of the whole point and mission, that it expands, what ever it hits opens up, and it is more efficient on the target. we have had numerous shootings where i investigated, while i was on gang task force, currently i'm with the new violence reduction team, and four persons were shot by one assailant. the person was using full metal jacket ammunition. everyone that was not hit in a vital organ was treated and walked away from sfgh. the person who was injured the most was shot right in the aorta. the surgeons at sfgh, saved the man, patched the young man up, and if it had been hollow point ammunition, opening it up and
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making a larger temporary wound cavity, they probably would not have been able to save this young man. i think there is a legitimate reason for law enforcement, because we are held to an extremely high regulation about the use of deadly force that, if we see a threat to our life or someone else's life and we have to seize that threat, hollow point ammunition, which we carry, it does act more efficiently, for less rounds expanded to seas confrontation. we do not want a large amount of rounds launched in that direction because it would cause ancillary damages that would not be accepted by our department. so we want something that is efficient to put the threat down, and one of the other issues, are there legitimate issues for having hollow point ammunition within the city and
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county of san francisco? there is relatively no particular use for target shooting. hollow point ammunition costs twice as much as full metal jacket ammunition. the shooting ranges we have in san francisco does not allow you to bring your own ammunition in because of the lead in the indoor range. have to purchase the alleged free ammunition from the range. -- the lead-free ammunition from the range. is full metal jacket ammunition as efficient? for the purposes of self-defense and home defense, i would not want to be shot with either full metal jacket or hollow point ammunition. that is why we were ballistic vest. -- why we where ballistic vests. i believe the ancillary damage
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to what average hits as well as a way by the fact that full metal jacket can and does the same job, as shot placement is done by the person trying to defend their lives, and familiarization with the firearm, practice with it, that will help that person in using the right kind of ammunition to acquire the same desire effect. -- the same desired effect. do you have any questions? supervisor mirkarimi: i am sure we have a few. the ballistic vest, are they fortified enough to withstand the impact of a hollow point bullet? >> yes. on the level that we carry, that we wear and the normal types of ammunition we are running into, yes, they will stand up to hall. ammunition. on tests i conducted what i was
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certifying whether we can allow the 57 around to be sold in california, that very fella -- very fast round coming out of a small pistol was stopped as it expanded on the seventh layer of the 21 layers of the front panel. so, yes, as it grabs the kevlar material, it does slow the ball down and stop. supervisor mirkarimi: you make a good case in explaining the technical reasons why and public safety reasons why we would want to resist this allowing of hollow point bullets in san francisco. but can you speak to the general trend as to why people feel the need who are gun advocates, who believe in the right to possession, which is of course there second amendment right, why do you think they have to have something that is that much more lethal that is made
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available or can be accessed? >> i think it is the same reason they feel they need assault weapons. they need what ever is accessible to them without encumbering their second of amorites. we are stepping into an area of that is limiting them from free access to whatever they want. granted, we're limiting the sales here in the city and county of san francisco, but hollow point ammunition is accessible south of the border on a bimonthly or try monthly basis at the san francisco gun show in daly city. i believe they want the same lethality we desire as a police department to seize the confrontation. that's another issue i believe gun advocates would want. supervisor mirkarimi: i am traversing between both themes
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and here that are fortifying our gun safety laws. with respect to gun locks, which -- when a gun is not kept safe and locked, such as the incident of the 8-year-old who found a gun and shot himself, what then do we do with the parents or guardians where the gun was made available or not kept safe? i never hear that side of the story too much about either arrest or prosecution. >> from my experience over these years in law enforcement and dealing with the shootings and the response of the state -- of the safe storage laws in california, which has been on the books for almost 15 years -- if -- there is a variance in punishment, and it is all to the discretion


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