San Francisco wheels out its new 'poop patrol'

It's happened. San Francisco has instituted 'poop patrols,' forcing Public Works employees go clean up the leftist city's by-the-suitcase excrement from the homeless that's covering the city's streets.

According to the San Francisco Chronicle:

In a city where filthy sidewalks are many residents’ No. 1 complaint, City Hall has come up with a new way to deal with No. 2.

It sounds like silly elementary school banter, but it’s real. San Francisco is about to launch the Poop Patrol.

In about a month, a team of five Public Works staffers will begin patrolling the alleys around Polk Street and other hot spots in a vehicle equipped with a steam cleaner.

They’ll begin their shifts in the afternoon, as the city starts losing its sheen from overnight cleaning. The Poop Patrol’s mission? To spot and clean piles of feces before anybody complains about them.

“We’re trying to be proactive,” explained Public Works director Mohammed Nuru. “We’re actually out there looking for it.”

We’re all out there looking for it, our eyes trained on the sidewalks as we walk so as to avoid that awful squishy feeling.

It's not surprising, given that San Francisco just lost $40 million in convention revenue, after a major medical association, repelled by the unsanitary condition of the city's excrement-covered streets, decided to hold its annual convention someplace else. The medical association had held annual convention in San Francisco for years up until then.

I suppose we can give them credit for not denying there is a problem, given the global exposure this gross problem has gotten. Most socialists deny there are ever any problems, other than Republicans, but money seems to have gotten their attention.

But the solution proposed is pretty much a Band-aid on a butt problem. It's unlikely that five employees, armed with steam cleaners, is really going to be able to make a long-term difference given the reasons it's happening.

The root of the problem is in three things: the incentivization of homelessness, which draws street poopers from all corners of the world to the fair city, free to do their business. San Francisco spends $279 million on homelessness 'programs' having raised the amount $29 million this year, which is a great thing for bureaucrats, but serves as a magnet for more homeless to come in as mendicants of the bureaucrats. One hand washes the other. There are 'navigation' programs, pregnant women programs, housing subsidies to non-profits to provide housing to the homeless, public-private partnerships, Homeward Bound, Operation Outreach, public toilets, and well, now we see Poop City as the current sum result. Throwing more money onto the problem will just create ... more poop.

Second, San Francisco is expensive, so there aren't many legs up for the indigent outside the homeless bureaucracy's goodies to dole out. 'Expensive' is the work of high taxes, including sales and property taxes, which shut down minimum wage jobs, high minimum wages, which reduce jobs altogether, and massive green and other regulations which shut out entire companies which provide jobs. This is the work of city policies in a one-party city.

Third, you can bet the poop patrol is going to be expensive, given that workers undoubtedly are paid a premium for the sanitary hazards of their job, and given the unionization of the city workers, they'll not be happy about it. Expect work stoppages with this one, given the reality that the poop patrols are basically just reactive, cleaning up after the homeless as they do their business, offering no disincentives, such as tickets, for miscreants.

It's not the first time San Francisco has tried to solve its homeless 'residue' issues in this reactive way. When I lived in San Francisco, the problems were there, but the budgets for bureaucrats were smaller, and so the homeless problem was smaller. A Supervisor named Wendy Nelder tried to solve the problem by having the city construct Porta-Potties for the convenience of the homeless, only to see them turned into shooting galleries, sleeping facilities and prostitution tryst points, which apparently is still happening. Now they are trying steam patrols. 

What they need is less homeless altogether, but that would require bureaucratic cutbacks. Instead, they're just larding on the costs, hoping they'll get a different result.






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