Joel Engardio, vice-president of Stop Crime SF, recently spoke at SNA’s quarterly meeting about the new SF organization.
Get to Know Stop Crime SF
If you care about stopping crime, you should get to know Stop Crime SF. It is a local non-profit organization to fight crime in San Francisco. “We use advocacy, court watch and legislation to address an epidemic of property crime in San Francisco and hold every part of the criminal justice system accountable,” said Joel Engardio, vice president of Stop Crime SF.
Stop Crime SF advocacy moved the Board of Supervisors to amend a recent video surveillance law to ensure police officers are still able to receive and use private security video provided by homeowners and businesses to solve crimes. The new law bans the city from using facial recognition technology and regulates the use of city-operated video cameras.
The group’s Court Watch program was featured on the front page of the San Francisco Chronicle and in several articles by columnist Heather Knight. Court Watch helped put one the city’s most prolific car burglars behind bars.
The goal of Stop Crime SF
To promote San Franciscans working together to reduce and prevent crime in our neighborhoods while holding public officials and the criminal justice system accountable. They have more than 500 individual members and growing. They also partner with eight neighborhood organizations and the Union Square Business Improvement District.
Learn more at the website: www.stopcrimesf.com
Like the Facebook page: www.facebook.com/stopcrimesf
What Is Court Watch?
Court Watch monitors trials to ensure San Francisco’s elected judges take crime seriously. Part of the problem is the revolving door of criminals getting arrested and then released by the court. Court Watch holds San Francisco’s elected judges accountable by monitoring trials.
Data compiled by Court Watch over time will show patterns of judicial behavior, which will help voters make informed choices when judges appear on the ballot. Court Watch presence also helps victims feel supported and heard.
Court Watch Coordinators Needed
Fed up by San Francisco’s high property crime rate but unsure what you can do about it? Consider becoming a coordinator for the Court Watch program.
They follow some important cases, like the photographer who was shot and killed on Twin Peaks while his camera was being stolen or the 89-year-old grandmother in Visitacion Valley who was robbed, beaten and left in a coma. The victims’ families say they appreciate our presence and support.
Stop Crime SF is scaling the Court Watch program to follow more cases and they need additional Court Watch coordinators.
What’s the difference between a Court Watch attendee and a Court Watch coordinator? Attendees show up in court on the assigned dates and times. Coordinators take a lead in their neighborhood to track cases and organize the volunteer attendees to appear in court, working almost entirely by email. Coordinators don’t have to be in court. Their work can be done on evenings and weekends.
No need to be intimidated by the coordinator role. Stop Crime SF will train you. They’ve recently completed a comprehensive Court Watch manual that provides a clear step-by-step guide.
The goal is to have a team of Court Watch coordinators assigned to neighborhoods all over San Francisco.
Do you have a few hours a week to help as a coordinator? Please contact email@example.com and put “coordinator” in the subject line.
Stop Crime SF Goals:
- Build a citywide network of citizens who share the concerns of rising crime.
- Expand their court-watch program to monitor the trials of defendants charged with burglaries in our neighborhoods to ensure these crimes are taken seriously. The aim is to gather data on the outcome in courtrooms to better know our elected judges. They are also an advocate for victims to help them feel supported and heard.
- Work with police and prosecutors and advocate for the resources they need.
- Support creation of a transparent and user-friendly online database that tracks crimes from the initial police report to arrest, conviction, jail time and probation.
- Attend and speak at public hearings to make their presence known.
- Propose and help pass legislation aimed at reducing crime.