Sergeant Joshua Kumli, a field training sergeant, teaches two new recruits how to conduct a preliminary narcotics lab test for methamphetamine. Earlier in the day, Sergeant Kumli made an arrest for a stolen car. The persons involved were found in possesion of the methamphetamine. Since the department’s drug lab scandal in 2010, all officers must conduct a preliminary narcotics lab test in the field in an effort to weed out corruption on the force. Once tested, the arresting officer must bring the narcotics and the test results to the crime lab. This was the first field narcotics lab test for the recruits, who, after spending 31 weeks at the police academy, were in the beginning of their 17-week field training program. This is one of the longest training programs for police officers in the United States.
Officer Dominic Vannucchi stops a speeding car in San Francisco’s Tenderloin district. The driver of the car accused Officer Vannucchi and his partner Officer Mona Klaib of stopping him because of his race. Officer Vannucchi is white. Officer Klaib is of Middle Eastern descent. The driver was black, had an expired license, and was a convicted felon. After running his record, the officers decided to allow the driver to call a friend with a valid license to drive his car away.
After beginning their 11am to 9pm walking beat in the Tenderloin district with coffee, Officer Kevin Cuadro and Officer Kevin Fong check in with the security at Crazy Horse Gentleman’s Club on Market Street. On a walking beat, officers often build long standing relationships with everday members of the community they police. According to the officers, getting to know the people who live and work in the community is one of the best ways to prevent crime.
Officer Kevin Fong attends to lost child on a corner in the Tenderloin district known for active drug dealing. Officer Fong, who was being helped by members of the community, found the child’s mother in a laundry mat down the street.
Officer Michael Scott responds to a call of a man and a woman who were physically attacked by a former girlfriend while parked in a supermarket parking lot. The couple decided to not press charges. After speaking with the couple, Officer Scott and his partner, Officer Marcus Wells, left the scene.
Responding to a report of someone standing precariously on the roof, Officer Dominic Vannucchi inspects the top floor and roof of an single room occupancy hotel (SROs) on 6th street in the Tenderloin. The 6th street area houses a series of SROs, some of the cheapest accomodation in San Francisco. The blocks surrounding these SROs are characterized by drug use, violence, and homelessness and are blocks away from the headquarters of some of the largest technology companies in San Francisco. Officer Vannunchi and his partner, Officer Mona Klaib, did not find anyone on the roof.
Sergeant Lloyd Martin, a 22-year veteran of the SFPD, responds to sort out a situation at a domestic violence call involving reports of a knife in the Ingleside District. After conferring with the officers who first responded, Sergeant Martin detains the son and proceeds to speak with each party separately.
Officer Mona Klaib, who at the time was finishing up her one year probationary period as a new officer, rests while her partner drives to the gas station during a swing shift at Tenderloin Station. Officers in the SFPD work a rotating schedule of 10 hour shifts, which sometimes extend to 14 hours with overtime. There is no scheduled break or lunch schedule as the nature of the job is unpredicable.
Officer Michael Scott approached the window of a house after a reported domestic violence dispute between a father and son. The father had just escaped from the window and reported to officers that he had barricaded himself into the bedroom because his son was wielding a knife. In spite of the information portrayed in the media and hollywood, officers believe edged weapons pose some of the greatest risks to officer safety and the citizens they are tasked to protect.
A group of six officers hold down a man before paramedics arrive to sedate him. The man, who according to the officers gave indications of Phencyclidine (PCP) use, was being arrested in the Outer Mission District for assaulting a nearby homeless man. When approached by the first officers on the scene, the man in custody violently resisted arrest.
During midday lineup, officers at Ingleside station listen to Captain Joe McFadden as he updates his officers on recent events, including the forced resignation of Chief Greg Suhr two days before and the appointment of interim Chief Toney Chaplin. At the beginning of every shift, officers lineup for attendance and series of announcements from the commanding officer, usually a lieutenant in charge of day-to-day station operations.
On a six hour ride along, Sergeant Josh Kumli, a 15-year veteran of the SFPD, candidly discusses the issues plaguing the department two days after the forced resignation of Chief Greg Suhr on May 22, 2016. The former chief was removed from office after the fourth police killing of a black or hispanic person in the previous six months, a statistic that galvanized local political efforts to seek his termination.