City leaders held a press conference Tuesday to jointly discuss safety measures being taken for the upcoming APEC summit in San Francisco, and the kickoff of the holiday shopping season in Union Square.
"Local law enforcement is working hard to stop retail theft," said Mayor London Breed today, saying that Union Square will be flooded with street ambassadors and both uniformed and plainclothes cops this season. "We are working very hard to make sure we are doing everything we can to prevent these things from happening."
Breed was joined at the press conference by SFPD Chief Bill Scott, Supervisor Aaron Peskin, and District Attorney Brooke Jenkins in front of the Union Square Christmas tree, which will have its lighting ceremony on Thursday. And the elephant in the room was a very recent crash-and-grab robbery at the Dior store on the square, in which thieves used a car to ram through a security gate — but at least a couple of the suspects have been caught.
The holidays are coming to Union Square. The Safeway Ice Rink is open & the Macy’s tree will be lit on Thursday. Our police officers & ambassadors will be out throughout the holidays to make sure residents & visitors feel safe & welcome when they shop at our local businesses. pic.twitter.com/FOjWiKBj8p— London Breed (@LondonBreed) November 7, 2023
"Are we where we want to be? Not completely," Breed added. "But are we going to get there? I believe we are."
"You will see increased presence not only in Union Square, but in all our shopping corridors," said SFPD Chief Bill Scott. "You won't see the plainclothes officers that are out here getting the job done and arresting people because they're watching crimes as they occur."
Breed and Scott also addressed the upcoming APEC summit, which kicks off Saturday in and around the Moscone Center. "San Francisco hasn't hosted an international event of this magnitude since 1945, when the United Nations was established right here," Breed said.
"We do anticipate that there will be protests for a variety of reasons," Scott said, per KPIX. "It is our goal to facilitate First Amendment activity, but also do everything possible and necessary to make sure that any First Amendment activity remains peaceful. We will not tolerate violence. We will not tolerate property destruction."
Tuesday also featured a celebration of the opening of Miller & Lux Provisions — the pair of cafes flanking either side of Union Square from celebrity chef Tyler Florence. As we learned in September, Florence landed the city contract for the two cafes, which had previously been home to Union Square Coffee and Alma by McCall's. One of the cafes will feature coffee, breakfast and brunch items, and sweets from Miller & Lux pastry chef Karla Marro; the other space will be modeled on Tyler Florence Fresh, featuring savory items like rotisserie chicken, charcuterie plates, as at his SFO concession in Terminal 2.