The newly-passed sit-lie law was having no effect on the Haight-Ashbury neighborhood as recently as a few weeks ago, according to the San Francisco Police Department.
How quickly things can change.
The earlier report in the Bay Citizen was contradicted by a story in the San Francisco Examiner this week, in which police officials said the new law is having an effect "despite the misgivings of some," although a hard-core group of hardened loiterers, drunks, remain on the neighborhood's sidewalks, terrorizing passers-by.
The law was worthless according to Park Station police Lt. Belinda Kerr. But Kerr's boss, Park Station Captain Denis O'Leary, told the Examiner that the law has had an effect. More officers walking the streets has cut down on crime, and more loiterers issued citations has also spread the word among the neighborhood's ne'er-do-wells.
O’Leary is now hoping that prosecutors will seek stay-away orders against repeat offenders, the Examiner reported.
“When it comes to changing their behavior I think that it’s in the court’s hands,” he said.
One Haight merchant wondered what the law's efficacy really is.
“Do any of these things make these guys disappear into thin air?” he asked. “They’re not going to Sea Cliff, they’re not going to San Diego.”
“I don’t know,” he shrugged. “Everybody’s got to be somewhere.”