Watch CBS News

Citing violence in jails, San Francisco sheriff's deputies demand National Guard help

SAN FRANCISCO -- The union representing San Francisco's deputy sheriffs demanded assistance Saturday from the California National Guard to solve a critical staffing shortage in the county's jails.

The demand, in a letter to the sheriff, the mayor and the president of the board of supervisors, cited escalating prisoner violence and injuries to deputies and civilians who work in the jails.

"In 2023 alone, there were 240 reported incidents of prisoner fights, representing a 58% increase from the previous year," said Ken Lomba, the president of the San Francisco Deputy Sheriffs' Association.

In addition to serving as jail guards, deputies provide security to city hall and county courts.

Lomba said the National Guard could temporarily supplement current staffing levels.

"Their presence is crucial to provide immediate relief and enhance the safety and security of our facilities for all personnel and inmates," he said in the letter posted on the union's website.

The jail's inmate population stood at 1,137 as of Friday, according to the sheriff's department's website.

An announcement on the website on Saturday said visits to inmates by members of the community and parent-child visits were cancelled through Monday.

The county operates jails in downtown San Francisco and in San Bruno, in San Mateo County.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.