California. Grand Jury (San Francisco).

Civil Grand Jury reports (Volume 1981-82 1982-83 1983-84 1984-85) online

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credits, for each level of promotion, transfers the heavy
weight of seniority to an equalizing position of advantage for
the lesser senior promotional aspirant.



Ultimately, the Fire Department is the beneficiary
by gaining a higher level of professionalism from promotional
ranks, initially and cumulatively as promotees ascend the
Department's promotional ladder.

The reduction of accidents involving the Department's
rolling stock and other apparatus, is the continuing objective
of the Accident Review Committee. The Department has experienced
an upward trend of alarms to which apparatus must respond, thus
increasing the frequency of exposure to accident possibilities.
Conversely, the ratio of accidents has not increased pro-

The false alarm abatement program is a continuing
effort that demonstrates degrees of results from area to area
when certain methods of communication are utilized.

The Department was successful in significantly reducing
the number of false alarms from the fire alarm boxes, when letters
were systematically sent to residents in those areas where false
alarms from respective fire alarm boxes represented an intolerable
hazard to area residents.

During the months of January and February 1980, 207
false alarms were pulled at five of the most notorious false
alarm boxes. On June 23, 1980, letters were sent to residents
in the areas of those five fire alarm boxes, explaining the
situation. In the 11-month period following, from July 1, 1980,
through May 31, 1981, a total of 169 false alarms were received
from those same fire alarm boxes, a significant decrease.

Programs - Improvement Bond

Fireboat Program

The Improvement Bond of November 1977 provided funds
for the design and construction of a new fireboat. Plans and
specifications for a new boat were prepared by Morris Guralnick
Associates, but as the cost estimate greatly exceeded the funds
allocated it was decided not to procure a new boat, but instead
to use the funds to refurbish the existing fireboat Phoenix. A
design contract was signed with the firm of Noorgard and Clark
and plans and specifications were to be completed around
September 1981.



Auxiliary Water Supply Extension Program

The Improvement Bond of 1977 provided funds for the
extension of the Auxiliary Water Supply System further into the
western portion of the City as part of a Master Plan. During
the fiscal year 1980-1981, work progressed on the extension on
19th Avenue from Irving Street to Ulloa Street. It was expected
that this work be completed by about October 1, 1981.

Fulton Street Drafting Hydrants

During the fiscal year 1980-1981, a total of 27 low
pressure hydrants were installed along the south side of Fulton
Street beginning at 2 2nd Avenue and terminating at 48th Avenue.
Source of water for these hydrants is Stow Lake in Golden Gate
Park. This project was financed by United States Government
Economic Development Administration grant funds.



Located: 850 Bryant Street, San Francisco, California

The 911 Emergency Number was planned and gradually phased
into operation in San Francisco in 1981.


In November 19 81, Chief Andrew Casper appeared before
the Civil Grand Jury and discussed the Emergency Number 911, and
the difficulties the Fire Department had encountered with this
new service.

At that time, it was not proving successful, because of
the Operators' Code interpretation of the emergency calls and causing
some delays. Incoming emergency calls for the Fire Department were
being dispatched to wrong departments and services.

He therefore requested a survey of all 911 calls for the
Fire Department, such as fire of autos, accidents, (wash downs),
medical resuscitations and ambulance service, etc.



A recent copy of estimated 911 calls was received for
the months of April and May 1982 and is as follows: (These calls
are in addition to calls received directly by the Fire Department.)

Total number of 911 alarms: 1,118 1,243

Incident related calls: 49 42

(Such as: auto fires,
wash downs, burnt food,
resuscitations and aiding
an invalid. )

False alarms: 2

(These phone numbers were
called back and found to be
made from public telephones,
as confirmed by the Telephone
Company. )

Another area of improvement on 911 calls has been made
in the cases of heart attack victims, resuscitation, etc. The
records show these calls are now also referred to Emergency
Service (Ambulance), within five seconds after the initial call,
so that the Fire Department and Ambulance Service are dispatched
the fastest way possible.


Fire Chief Andrew Casper has presented a preliminary
$88.5 million dollar budget for the 1982-1983 fiscal year, before
the Fire Commission, which includes the purchase of at least three
Pumper Trucks and one Aerial Ladder Truck. These pieces of equip-
ment should be replaced and are long over-due.

The Civil Grand Jury recommends this needed equipment
be purchased. The cost and maintenance for old equipment is
steadily increasing and the new equipment is needed for the
protection of the City.

If the equipment purchases were to be eliminated from
the 1982-1983 budget, in order to keep the budget in line with
the Mayor's recommended Fire Department Budget of $87.4 million
dollars, the Department may have to ask voters to approve a "bond
issue" to replace this aged and obsolescent equipment.



Plans are under consideration for further consolidation
or relocation of Fire Stations.

A new Fire Station may have to be constructed in the
South of Market Area Development, near the Moscone Center.


It was found during the recent gas leak at the Embarcadero

Center that it took one hour and forty- five minutes for the 64%

of the Firefighters residing out of the City to arrive for such
an emergency.

This was also reported by the 1980-1981 Civil Grand

The Board of Supervisors plan to propose a change in
the "Residence Requirement" to a 30-mile radius of the City.

The Civil Grand Jury recommends the Board of Supervisors
look further into this matter.


Juvenile Fire Setting Programs which are funded by
the United States Fire Administration, have proven very successful,

The "Learn Not to Burn Program" for children of second,
fifth and seventh grades, with the cooperation of 300 teachers,
has proven very effective, and it is planned to expand this
program throughout other grades.

The Civil Grand Jury recommends these programs be con-
tinued and not eliminated from the budget.


The Civil Grand Jury applauds the Fire Department,
Police Department and the District Attorney's Office in coordinating
their efforts to bring immediate arson arrests.

Rewards have been offered for the arrest and conviction
of an arsonist, as an incentive for apprehending the arsonist.
This has proven very successful and has reduced deadly arson crime
by 10% or more this past fiscal year.



We recommend these departments continue to work together
toward their successful goal.


A committee of doctors and chemists has been established.
This program is of the utmost importance for the safety of the City
and the safety and health of our Firefighters. It is anticipated
state funds will subsidize this program.


1. San Francisco Fire Department - Annual Report 1980-1981.

2. Previous Grand Jury Reports - 1980-1981.

3. Local Newspapers: San Francisco Examiner , Chronicle and

San Francisco Progress.

4. San Francisco Fire Department Reports and Pamphlets.

Blanche M. Manning
Louis Alessandria

Kathryn M. Ochoa, Chairman




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The Juvenile Court-Probation Committee of the 1981-82
San Francisco Civil Grand Jury was assigned to examine the
structure, organization, functions, goals and problems of the
Juvenile Court, the Juvenile Probation Department, and the
facilities and services provided for juveniles referred to the
Juvenile Court and the Juvenile Probation Department.

At the same time an independent evaluation of the
Youth Guidance Center and its related facilities and services
was being conducted by a committee of the San Francisco Juvenile
Justice Commission. The committee was formed in July 1981 and
issued a final report in March of 1982. Since both the Juvenile
Justice Commission and the Civil Grand Jury were studying some
of the same areas during much of the same period and were
concerned with many of the same problems and their social
consequences, it is notable that our findings and
recommendations correspond in many instances. Among these were
ways in which the policies, procedures, services, and facilities
might be improved in the interest of reducing juvenile
delinquency and crime and particularly crimes of violence.

We are appreciative of the assistance and many
courtesies received in the course of repeated contacts with
officials, agency personnel, concerned citizens and
representatives of public and private agencies and services.
All were cooperative and helpful. In particular we appreciate
the personal attention given and time provided by the Honorable
Harry W. Low, Presiding Judge of the San Francisco Juvenile
Court, in discussing the problems and plans of the Juvenile
Court and the Juvenile Probation Department. In addition, we
are deeply grateful for the assistance given by Mr. Joseph J.
Botka, Chief Juvenile Probation Officer, and his staff in the
department and its institutions for their cooperation in
providing information and arranging for interviews with
employees and wards and for visits to facilities.



Also, we should note that the length of the term of
this Civil Grand Jury has limited the scope of our examination
to only selected areas of recognized concern within the
jurisdiction of the Juvenile Court. Therefore, certain
departments, such as Research and Records, were unavoidably
neglected. Where we have not inquired and where our inquiries
have rendered inadequate responses, the Civil Grand Jury urges
other properly designated persons to accomplish hereafter a
successful conclusion.


The San Francisco Juvenile Court is located in the
Youth Guidance Center at 375 Woodside Ave., San Francisco.

The Presiding Judge of the Juvenile Court is appointed
from the Superior Court Bench. During his assignment to the
Juvenile Court, which has recently been for a period of one
year, he is responsible for conducting the business of the Court
and supervising the operations of all services related to the

During the service of the 1981-82 Civil Grand Jury the
incumbent was the Honorable Harry W. Low. As Presiding Judge it
is his responsibility to see that the Court affords protection
of the community from criminal or anti-social acts by juveniles,
to assure the supervision and welfare of abandoned, neglected or
abused youth, and to take legal measures to curb truancy,
runaways, and the activities of juveniles who are beyond
parental control. These activities and goals are effected
through judicial processes, informal methods and the operations
of the Juvenile Probation Department and its services.

In pursuance of its responsibilities the Court has
primary jurisdiction over all juveniles under the age of 18 who
are charged with delinquent acts, are in danger of becoming
delinquent, or are in need of judicial intervention in matters
affecting their welfare.

In these legal responsibilities the Court is assisted
by, and supervises, legally trained court referees who, in
addition to the judge, conduct hearings and perform certain
legal functions. The judge also supervises a Traffic Hearing
Officer who conducts hearings in the cases of juveniles charged
with traffic offenses.



Because of the increasingly heavy case load, a
proposal has been made, and is now under consideration, to add
another judge to the Juvenile Court and possibly eliminate one
referee position. This will be in compliance with the
provisions of AB 3121 (Sec. 35) which states that by 1979
one-half of all judicial officers of the Juvenile Court should
be judges in order to reduce the number of referees and
reinforce the authority of the Court. This is also intended to
expedite the work of the Court by reducing the practice of some
attorneys of refusing to submit a case to a Court referee and
demanding a hearing by a judge. This should make it possible to
reduce management problems by saving the time of the bailiff,
time involved in transportation of the defendant, and delay
necessary to place a case on the Superior Court calendar.

One-half of the time of the additional Juvenile Court
Judge would be spent in hearing cases at the Youth Guidance
Center; the other half spent in monitoring facilities, assuring
compliance with Court decisions, consulting on cases with State
hospitals and mental health services, holding commitment
hearings under the provisions of the Welfare and Institutions
Code, and conferring with agencies associated with the Court and
with community based resources.

The Court feels that truancy among juveniles continues
to be a serious problem. Among steps being taken to alleviate
this are the establishment of a policy requiring the subpoena of
the school attendance records of offenders on probation who are
repeatedly truant. Juvenile Probation Officers are assigned to
review these to determine if attendance is in compliance with
Court orders. There is some feeling that the school system does
not provide sufficient evaluation and counseling in connection
with this problem and that there is a need for closer
cooperation with the Juvenile Probation Department and
improvement in the entire process of evaluating and monitoring
cases. The Juvenile Court has recently instituted a procedure
whereby the school attendance records of probationers are being
reviewed every two weeks. In cases where the problem is
continuing, parents are being cited to Court and admonished,
with both parents and youth being held accountable. Joint staff
meetings are now being held monthly between probation officers
and referees to improve communications and coordination and to
reconcile social and legal problems involved.

There is also a feeling that because of personnel
problems and heavy case loads the Department of Social Services
is unable to be as effective and efficient as it could be.
There are problems in finding a sufficient number of foster
homes, although savings can be made through foster home



placement at a cost of approximately $400 per month as compared
to the cost of placement of a youth at the Youth Campus (closed
June 1, 1982) at a cost of about $4300 monthly.

According to the Presiding Judge of the Juvenile Court
the procedural manual of the Juvenile Probation Department has
not been up to date for several years. In an effort to correct
this situation, he has, in addition to his other duties,
been reviewing and revising it in cooperation with the staff of
the Juvenile Probation Department.

A progressive step has been taken by the Court in
cooperation with the Junior League of San Francisco, the Bay
Area Urban League, and the National Council of Jewish Women, by
the establishment of a two year demonstration project through
which trained volunteers will be used to work with the cases of
abused or neglected children who are already dependents of the
Court, or may become so. This project is completely funded for
the first year starting in May, 1982, but only partially funded
at this time for the second year. The volunteers will be
appointed by the Judge of the Juvenile Court, who, in
conjunction with the program director, will provide supervision
and training.

One very important aspect of the San Francisco
Juvenile Court is the provision for citizen participation and
review through the Juvenile Justice Commission. The Commission
was created under the provisions of section 229 of the Welfare
and Institutions Code and functions under the supervision of the
Juvenile Court Judge. The Commissioners are appointed by the
Court and are charged with examining the administration of
Juvenile Court operations, laws and practices. It is also
required to make annual inspections of juvenile facilities and
may hold hearings on matters relating to the areas of its
responsibilities. In addition, it makes reports and
recommendations to the Court and to the California Youth
Authority regarding the administration of juvenile justice and
any problems that may exist. We felt that the meetings of the
Commission that were observed were productive, that the members
were concerned and competent, and that the Commission is a
valuable adjunct to the Court.

One important recent development is the Cultural
Awareness Program coordinated by the Judge of the Juvenile Court
and the Human Rights Commission. It provides for bi-weekly
meetings between youth in Juvenile Hall and persons of various
ethnic and racial backgrounds in an effort to reduce conflicts
by helping to develop understanding and tolerance of racial and



cultural differences. This program is also helpful in promoting
the same objectives among the probation officers, school
teachers and social workers.

Another important adjunct to the Court is the
Volunteer Auxiliary which uses private funds, donations and
membership dues to provide and finance recreational and training
projects and social activities not provided for by public funds
or the administration. It is our opinion that the personal
interest in the welfare of detainees taken by this organization
is a praiseworthy and valuable example of the importance of
citizen participation in helping to realize the objectives of
the Juvenile Court process.


The San Francisco Juvenile Court supervises the
Juvenile Probation Department, which is also located at the
Youth Guidance Center and has legal responsibility for male and
female youth under the age of 18 years where the provisions of
sections 601, 602, 707, and 300 of the California Welfare and
Institutions Code apply. (1) It is charged with investigation,
and when warranted, taking appropriate action to protect youth
and the community. Referrals come from the Juvenile Court,
private individuals, police and other law enforcement agencies,
social welfare, public and private community agencies, schools,

The Department is represented by Juvenile Probation
Officers assigned as Court Officers in all Juvenile Court
hearings and matters relating to the Court process. In
addition, a Juvenile Probation Officer is assigned to work
directly under the supervision of the Juvenile Court as a
Traffic Hearing Officer in dealing with traffic citations issued
to juveniles.

(1) State of California, Welfare and Institutions Code

(a) Section 601 - Status Offenders.

(b) Section 602 - Law Violators

(c) Section 707 - Violent and serious offenses

(d) Section 300 - Dependent minors.



Under the direction of the Chief Juvenile Probation
Officer, Mr. Joseph J. Botka, the Department is divided into the
following sections: Business Office, Research and Records,
Institutions and Log Cabin Ranch. Probation Services are headed
by Assistant Chief Juvenile Probation Officer Warren D. Cain.
The Assistant Chief Juvenile Probation Officer is responsible
for Intake/Investigation, Supervision and Special Divisions.

Our evaluation of the Juvenile Probation Department
involved repeated visits to juvenile facilities operated by the
Department and numerous interviews with staff at all levels,
with former Juvenile Probation Officers, wards, and union
representation. Many problems that have been noted in previous
Civil Grand Jury Reports, by the Juvenile Justice Commission and
other sources, remain unresolved or partially resolved. Some of
these are due to the fiscal relationship with the City; others
are related to the basic problems of and with the Civil Service
Commission. We recognize that the ability of the Juvenile
Probation Department to deal effectively with all of its
resposibilities is impaired by many factors beyond its control.
Among these are recent large scale immigration of unassimilated
foreign refugees unaquainted with the language and the culture,
and rapidly changing social and economic conditions within the
City. Efforts to cope with these and other problems present
many difficulties, but the primary problem noted by the Grand
Jury was what appears to be generally low morale among the rank
and file of the Department. This problem has also been noted by
the Juvenile Justice Commission and the Presiding Judge of the
Superior Court and some recent effort has been made to improve
the situation.

Some morale problems are inherent in the highly
demanding nature of the Juvenile Probation Officer's duties and
the prescriptive structure of the Department. It is apparent,
for example, that opportunities for advancement are slim and
Juvenile Probation Officers, even though generally well
compensated, may face many years of routine service with little
variation in duties and little or no prospect of promotion. The
problems of morale in the Department that came to our attention
varied in nature and degree and there are differences of opinion
regarding which problems are percieved as being most important.



One principal source of disatisfaction over a period
of time, however, appears to be the fact that the Civil Service
Commission has not scheduled regular examinations for permanent
appointments for various classes of employees. It has been
estimated that 80% of all Juvenile Hall staff and 40% of the
Business Office personnel are serving in temporary appointments
and sometimes have been so classified for many years for lack of
the scheduling of regular competitive permanent examinations.
These individuals are thus being deprived of the usual benefits
of job security, retirement, etc. In 1977 Juvenile Probation
Officers with temporary appointments were blanketed into
permanent positions because no Civil Service examination had
been held for over four years. At present, therefore, there are
no Juvenile Probation Officers serving in a temporary capacity.
It is reported that this has caused some conflict with respect
to the Juvenile Probation Officers employed earlier through
competitive examination who feel that blanketing in temporary
employees ignored the usual professional requirements for the
position .

No civil service examinations for counselors and some
other Youth Guidance Center personnel have been given for
several years. It has been stated that this is an accepted
practice in order to assure that financial savings will be made
by not filling some positions or having to provide for the extra

Online LibraryCalifornia. Grand Jury (San Francisco)Civil Grand Jury reports (Volume 1981-82 1982-83 1983-84 1984-85) → online text (page 2 of 31)