San Francisco will launch a “poop patrol” in September in an effort to proactively remove the masses of homeless excrement currently turning the city’s streets brown.
The $750,000 operation is the brainchild of Mayor London Breed and Public Works director Mohammed Nuru, both of whom hope the patrol’s six dedicated staff members and two trucks will be able to locate and remove human feces from the streets before pedestrians call in complaints.
The “poop patrol” will have its work cut out — since the start of 2018, San Francisco’s 311 services received 14,597 calls complaining about piles of human and dog feces on the street, according to KGO-TV. That’s roughly 65 complaints per day.
The patrol will utilize data-driven strategies to proactively get ahead of the mess in particularly sticky areas of the city.
“We have data that shows where most of the complaints are for poop cleanup. So, the goal is to make sure we have a dedicated team and they are focusing on those particular areas where we know it’s most problematic,” Breed told KTVU.
There are about 7,500 homeless people living in San Francisco according to the city, which will spend nearly $280 million this year on housing services for the homeless.
The operation will serve as a compliment to the city’s Pit Stop public toilet program. The city allotted $1.05 million in its most recent budget to construct five additional public toilets, bringing the total Pit Stops in the city to 22. But many of the public toilets are only in operation until the late afternoon, leaving the homeless with few decent options overnight.
Breed, a Democrat who was inaugurated as the San Francisco’s mayor in July, has made frequent unannounced tours of the city’s streets to monitor their condition first-hand.
She praised the city following a tour Monday for making “important investments” in public trash cans, public toilets and expanded street cleaning teams.
But Breed acknowledged there is still much work to be done.
“I just want the city to be clean, and I want to make sure we’re providing the resources so that it can be,” she told the San Francisco Chronicle.