SF deputies cleared for street patrols

San Francisco sheriff’s deputies are now eligible to patrol city streets just like their counterparts in every other California county, sheriff’s officials announced Wednesay.

Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi has worked for the last two years to get the department certified through the state’s Peace Officer Standards and Training Field Training Program and the certification was granted effective Aug. 14, according to the sheriff’s office.

Until now, the sheriff’s office was responsible for law enforcement at jails, courts, certain hospitals and City Hall with other areas patrolled only by the San Francisco Police Department.

But all 56 other California sheriff’s departments were certified through the Field Training Program, sheriff’s officials said.

“Decades ago, an inherent public safety caste system emerged at significant expense to the taxpayer by limiting the scope and professional development capacity of the sheriff’s department,” Mirkarimi said in a statement.

“With this credential, a historical barrier is removed from un-muffling the SF Sheriff’s Department’s professional expansion as a law enforcement agency with respect to patrol functions,” he said.

The sheriff said he hopes that the certification allows deputies to better assist San Francisco police with law enforcement in city neighborhoods and on the San Francisco Municipal Railway system to tackle the city’s rising crime rate.