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How the New ‘Poop Patrol’ Will Do Its Duty - August 16, 2018 - SF Weekly
SF Weekly

How the New ‘Poop Patrol’ Will Do Its Duty

Mike Koozmin, SF Examiner

Pull up a stool for the story of City Hall’s latest movement to keep San Francisco sidewalks free of the fowl stuff. In a town known for its homeless problem and “restrooms are for customers only” policies, the inevitable human waste has piled up on the streets. But the Department of Public Works (DPW) has announced a new crew called Poop Patrol, first reported this week by the San Francisco Chronicle and since breathlessly repeated by media outlets worldwide who are wetting themselves with laughter that our fair city might actually have an official city team called Poop Patrol.

“Yes, Poop Patrol is the name,” DPW director of policy and communications Rachel Gordon tells SF Weekly. “It’s a six-person crew. The Poop Patrol is a proactive initiative to clean up human and dog waste in known hotspot areas.”

The Poop Patrol will begin to take shifts in September, going on duty in the afternoon hours. The program is not a replacement for the SF311 program that’s currently averaging 65 poop-related complaints every day, but instead an effort to clean messes before people call that shit in.

“We will continue to respond to service requests that come our way through 311,” Gordon tells us.

Of course, cleaning poop does nothing to address the city’s general lack of public toilets. That’s why DPW has also added more toilets to its new Pit Stop program.

“We recently added four new Pit Stops, bringing the number of locations to 22 in 12 neighborhoods,” Gordon says. “We will be adding another one in coming month, for 23 total. We also recently expanded the hours at five locations. We fully expect the program to expand more in the future.”

The DPW does not fund any private programs, like mobile hygiene service Lava Mae. “We are big supporters of Lava Mae and work with them, but we do not provide funding,” according to Gordon.

Lava Mae would get additional funding if the Our City, Our Home measure passes in the November election. (It’s now called Prop. C, by the way.) So the Poop Patrol will not provide relief to people who badly need a public restroom, but may result in fewer people talking shit about San Francisco.