Police Kill Fun in Dolores Park

This past weekend, we noticed that the police had setup a mobile command unit outside of Dolores Park.  Now it appears that the police are getting serious about people enjoying themselves in the park.  From Dolores Park View:

At 5 pm this evening I spotted two mountain bike 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 neighbor 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 attended, 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. (link)

Seriously?  The voice of one idiot is more important than the hundreds of people that enjoy this park everyday?

Author: Kevin Montgomery

No one should have a biography at age 24.

47 thoughts on “Police Kill Fun in Dolores Park”

  1. Does that mean we only need 1 complaint about the complaint and they cancel each other out? How about 200 complaints against the complaint?

  2. Oh come on, if you have a problem with the open container law, lets get it fixed. Don’t complain about cops doing their jobs enforcing the law.

  3. Allan, my report should have said, “neighbors had come to him complaining” But your point is just as valid. Be it a handful of complaints or just one, you guys are now residents and voters too. Speak up!!

  4. Dolores Park is a hot mess these days. I would say Hot Tranny Mess, but they are making their own mess on Capp Street.

    1. I think the police realized people in slightly worse parts of this neighborhood (like Capp and S Van Ness) have been complaining that police are giving tickets in the park while not responding to calls about fights and robberies over here. trust me i know. i saw a lady get socked in the face and the police took 15 minutes to drive 2 blocks.

      Drinking in the park after work is really not a big deal.

  5. I wonder if the cited gentlemen were brown bagging their beverages or outright flouting the law. When a cop asks to see what’s in your paper bag, it’s your turn to ask to see their search warrant.

  6. If you are going to drink it’s easy to hide in a cup. I have no problem with people enjoying themselves, I love the park too, it’s a amazing place with mostly great vibes.

    I can say that living directly across the street from the park on Dolores St. is a blessing and a annoyance. I’ve been here two years and I feel it has become worse lately. People get waisted, puke all over,pee all over, leave all their garbage, and are really loud. It can get old dealing with it all the time.

    The police presence makes me feel safe and hopefully deters any crime.

    1. we must be neighbors! I also live across the street from the park (12 years now) and over the past 3 years the noise levels late at night have gotten a lot worse. The mess the mornings after are also an eyesore but…

      I really do like how the park has been re-energized into “the place to be”. Not sure if anyone remembers, but Dolores Park used to be the park you wouldn’t dare walk through at night and god forbid letting your kids play in the playground!

      1. thank goodness. now if they’d only install some trash cans and maybe a few more toilets so people don’t use my driveway/landscaping as a urinal…go get’um coppers!

      2. If the police presence makes you feel unsafe you probably weren’t familiar with the park in the early to mid-90s when gunshots between drug-dealing gangs (there was brazen 24/7 dealing in the park and therefore few legitimate users at that time) were not uncommon. I’ve lived on the Church Street side for almost 20 years and the reason the park is used so heavily today is the police presence that makes it safe.

        The Park is supposed to close at 11 pm; there used to be signs but they’re long gone. Biggest problem now is not daytime drinking but all-night loud parties. I don’t care if people use the park to get quietly wasted but geez keep the noise down. And take out your trash with you! And stop using YOUR park as a toilet!

        ok rant over.

  7. I understand people’s distaste for the way the SFPD is enforcing the law, but the increasing outrage about this seems silly, and the direct equating of “enjoying” to “drinking alcohol” is dangerous.

    If someone needs a buzz to appreciate the view, they can hit a bar on the way to the park. I don’t care, as long as you don’t act like a jerk.

    But if people want to drink in the parks, which is against the law, they need to organize and get the law changed. Or hide it better.

    It’s kind of embarrassing, though, when the issues that get people really to band together are American Apparel and cops enforcing the open-container law.

      1. God damn that article was lame.

        The irony is your wasting your time calling out hipsters. Can’t you focus on Evangelicals or something? You know, people that really are going to bring about the end of Western Civilization.

        No. Instead you obsess over ‘hipsters’.

      2. “War, health care and poverty… meh…”

        I’m sorry, did I miss the part where hipsters didn’t protest against the war en masse? Vote in a president who promised healthcare and better services for the poor? And to end the war?

        Just what exactly should hipsters be doing? It’s an interesting question for me because so many hipsters seem to be skirting the line of poverty themselves (however voluntary that may be) and for the most part seem to be fine with it. If they’re happy about being poor – and indeed, fashionably poor is in – why would they prioritize fighting poverty? And if they’re not really happy with it – what actions should they be taking that would be more satisfactory to the people that complain that keeping AA out of the Mission is a worthless cause?

      1. Oh, crap. Did I accidentally start all this childish sniping?

        This is the sort of ridiculous bullshit that makes living difficult. People, let’s please all try to cut back on that.

  8. I live on the park and saw those cops ticketing people. They approached another woman sitting directly below the guys first approached. No citation issued to her because she was from another state.

    I started walking around the park looking for dealers and people drinking to warn them about the cops. In your face nimbys!!

    FYI, if a cop thinks there is an alcoholic bev in your brown paper bag, it can ask/order/force you to take it out. No warrant is needed. The real challenge for you is to keep your mouth shut and not answer any questions. Produce ID and sign the citation and do nothing else. The only thing they’re doing is fishing for more info to search you with.

    The park is more crowded and people really do need to be more respectful in terms of puking, pissing, garbage, noise, etc. The stodgy nimby people will call the fucking pigs at the drop of a hat and with the new brass in town they’ll be itching to prove that carrying guns, chemical weapons, dogs, sticks and the law around in a belt allows them to determine whether or not you will enjoy the park. Take responsibility and deal with this yourself instead of cowering behind your venetian blinds.

    1. NIMBYs in your face? fuck I’ve lived here 90% of my life and wanting people to clean the fuck up after themselves does NOT make me a nimby. you’re the kind of people who think filth and shit is ‘authentic.’

      thanks for ruining a perfectly nice parks you zombie fucks.

    2. btw, no one cowers behind their venetian blinds – ha, ha you made a funny about uptight old people and their long out of date venetian blinds.

      I don’t suppose it ever occurs to you that maybe the people who live on Dolores Park, don’t want the entire fucker filled park to know where they live. easy enough for THEM to attack a neighbor and run away home.

      of course you didn’t you self-centerd twit.

  9. what a stupid waste of time and energy spent on bitching about cops enforcing an existing law that protects people from stupid, drunken assholes. and look, I just did it too.

  10. Unless the folk receiving citations were drunk and disorderly this seems like a really poor use of police resources and a fantastic way to increase tension between law enforcement and the community.

    But I guess now that they’ve solved the open-air drug dealing at 16th and mission they can get at the *really important* crimes.

    Now, if the police were citing them for littering or for sporting bad hipster-doofus fashion it would be a different story altogether.

  11. I bet if park visitors started picking up their trash and stopped pissing on people’s houses, SFPD would get less neighborhood complaints. I’ve lived next to Dolores Park for almost 12 years now. People have been hanging out and drinking in the park for all that time, it’s only in the last 2 years where the asshole contingent has greatly increased.

    1. Yup. The math is simple –

      Mess = City pays to pick up park
      Graffiti/Destroy property = City pays to fix
      Drunk/Disorderly/Noise = City pays to send cops

      City in budget crunch gets tired of paying = Cops start paying attention and ticketing. (The perk being added revenue to the City to pay for the above.)

      Use the park in a responsible way that respects the neighborhood, and I have a hunch the police presence will be lowered in short order. They don’t want to be there, and you don’t want them there.

      Where’s Broke Ass Stuart? I thought he cleared this up with his rules already…

    2. I wouldn’t be surprised if this was the case, either. I haven’t been in the neighborhood for years or anything, but I’ll bet people who live on/near the park are probably pretty frustrated with people not cleaning up after themselves.

      I doubt anyone would care much about the rules being bent if people weren’t leaving evidence of it all over the place. It’s not that hard to pick up after yourself, people!

  12. SF is probably hurtin for cash and looking at these citations as money in the bank. Probably figures the Dolores crowd is an easy target with a small bark.

  13. It reminds me an awful lot of all the fuss over Bay to Breakers. It seems like, at some point, word gets out that some place or event is the place to be. This word finally filters down to assholes who don’t know how to get drunk in public respectably. The real discussion should be about who’s telling the assholes. Somebody talked. I was getting a drink in the Marina last week and some guys says to another, “you hittin up Dolores tomorrow?” Case goddam closed.

  14. Now, what I’m surprised about is that there’s been no word on what happens if the cops catch an under-21 kid with a 40…

  15. I live across the st. from dolores park and I don’t have a problem with people having fun in the park, but when the fun goes all the way till 2 in the morning and in many times till 4 or 5 in the morning than I get a little angry. This happens every weekend and every other sunny day during the week. Having said that, this is without counting all the idiots who urinate in front of my driveway, where my 2 year old daughter plays because the park is too disgusting to play in. The reason, all the shit that people leave behind when they get drunk, such as cigarrette butts, bottle lids, paper bags, bottles and sometimes even underwear. So for those who think that they don’t do any harm by having just a little “fun” at dolores park, please think twice about it. Don’t forget that people actualy live there.

  16. I don’t think the police killed the fun, I think “we” killed the fun.

    I live near the park, I drink in the park, I eat in the park, I walk my dog in the park, and, you know what?…I clean up after myslef.

    I love Dolores Park. And I wish more people respected the park instead of abusing it.

    I walk my dog through the park every morning and am always amazed at the amount of trash, litter, broken glass and garffiti left behind. Really? Did these folks never learn to clean up after themselves? Was it not required of them growing up?

    To be clear, I have no gripe with drinking in the park. What I do have a problem with is the aftermath of people not cleaning up after themselves (if the trash cans are full, bring your crap with you and dump it appropriately!).

    An even more serious nuisance is all the BROKEN GLASS (I have had to pull glass out of my dogs paws on numerous occasions) and half smoked joints (I know of two dogs who have nearly died due to cunsuming left over pot).

    Jesus, it’s so easy. Just be respectful and the cops (and neighbors) won’t be so heavy handed.

    Whew, that was a long-winded rant.

  17. The neighborhood association that is so invested in “cleaning up” Dolores Park should insist on more toilets and trash cans in the park to curb the public urination and littering. Empowering the cops to enforce the open-container law is an underhanded, and misdirected way to address the real problems the community seems to be ranting about.

  18. The police should be focusing on drunk drivers and theft in our city. There is no problem with having a few drinks in the park on a sunny afternoon. Sure people need to learn to pick up after themselves, but the police should be giving littering citations, not open containers.

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