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San Francisco Formed a 'Poop Patrol' to Deal with the City's Street Turds

They'll be scouring the city for human waste starting next month.
August 15, 2018, 5:39pm
Photo via Erik Wilson / Getty

The City of San Francisco gets around 65 reports of human poop littering streets and alleys every day—but now it looks like the city has finally hatched a plan to do something about it. This week, the city announced that it has created a brand-new "Poop Patrol" to begin scouring SF for turds, the San Francisco Chronicle reports.

Starting next month, a supervisor and five-person crew of Public Works employees will start patrolling the city with a steam cleaner every afternoon, hoping to proactively find and dispose of the human waste before someone accidentally steps in it or whatever. If the pilot program is successful, the city is expected to expand it in the coming months. "We’re trying to be proactive," Public Works head Mohammed Nuru told the Chronicle. "We’re actually out there looking for it."

According to San Francisco Mayor London Breed, who came up with the idea alongside Nuru, the newly-minted Poop Patrol will rely on data from past poop reports to target, uh, high-volume areas.

"We have data that shows where most of the complaints are for poop cleanup," Breed said in an interview with Fox 5. "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."


As funny as the name may sound, it's a pretty serious attempt to fix the public poop problem plaguing the city. Unfortunately, a team of workers diligently spraying dookie off of San Francisco's sidewalks doesn't exactly solve the underlying issue—the city's ongoing homelessness epidemic.

To give unhoused people in San Francisco access to more public bathrooms, the city is set to expand its Pit Stop program, which installs public toilets around the city, alongside the Poop Patrol. But, as the Chronicle points out, the Pit Stop toilets are only open during the day, and the addition of a Poop Patrol doesn't quite solve the problem of where homeless people can go to the bathroom at night.

"We need our streets cleaned up, so I love that they’re doing the Poop Patrol," Doniece Sandoval, who helps supply showers and bathrooms to the city's homeless population, said in an interview with the Chronicle. "But there’s no doubt about the fact that we need more public bathrooms. Everywhere we can, we need to make them available."

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