New San Francisco police Chief George Gascon looks on during his first news conference August 11, 2009 at the Hall of Justice in San Francisco, California. Gascon, the former chief of police of Mesa, Arizona, was sworn in as the new chief of the San Francisco Police deparment last week. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
San Francisco Police Chief George Gascon has an idea to reduce neighborhood violence: be a good neighbor.
The City's top cop is partnering with a local grassroots organization to promote mediation of neighborhood disputes as an alternative to police intervention.
The low-cost mediation services provided by the nonprofit Community Boards of San Francisco provide counseling to try to resolve
disputes between neighbors, landlords and tenants, and at the workplace and in schools, instead of repeat phone calls to police, which can save the cash-strapped city money and allow officers to focus on more pressing matters.
"When neighbors can solve their issues through mediation, it frees up the resources of our department to deal with more serious issues," Gascon said in a prepared statement.
Gascon plans to meet with the group next Thursday.
Bay City News contributed to this report.