San Francisco Board of Supervisors unanimously vote to change 10-B program for special events

March 16, 2016

SAN FRANCISCO:  The San Francisco Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to make substantive administrative changes to the 10-B Police program which mandatorily assigns off-duty officers to special events. The changes will promote better communication, cooperation, and planning between SFPD and event organizers, and incentivizes increased professionalism in the event industry. Currently an unknown number of officers take in some $10M every year in overtime pay from the event organizers for working at events around the city. To date, the 10-B program, though a necessary cog in our aim to ensure safe events, has often been difficult to navigate for all parties. These adjustments create clear standards for timing, accountability, and appeals, all parties the lead time necessary to ensure successful operations. Today’s legislative fix was authored by Supervisor David Campos, co-sponsored by Supervisor Farrell and vigorously supported by the California Music and Culture Association, or CMAC as it is called.

CMAC is the city’s trade association for entertainment venues, producers and artists very active in supporting legislative changes to keep San Francisco laws in step with a rapidly evolving entertainment industry.  Long time CMAC member and internationally known DJ and Promoter, Robbie Kowal described the existing system best when he said  “For decades, San Francisco’s events producers have been stumbling around in the dark trying to navigate this system. It was not an effective way to do business, nor was it fair to our public safety partners at SFPD who often had to deal with a lot of last-minute stress .”

From San Francisco Pride and Carnaval to neighborhood block parties, San Francisco’s festivals represent the City’s arts and culture at its best yet there has not been a formal process for determining security needs. “Most of these cultural, community and arts events are created and managed by entrepreneurs and community non-profits who take on enormous risk in producing a wide range of unique experiences for San Francisco,” said Terrance Alan, founder of the Entertainment Commission and long-time festival promoter who helped craft the legislation. “But a Festival is like any other business, you must know your costs to survive. Learning of increases in your mandatory 10B security costs without time to change your event budget spells financial disaster. This legislation will ensure 10B costs are on the table months before the event so budgets can be revised and events kept fun and safe.”

The Campos bill sets a timeline for when event promoters must apply for security and when police must respond with the number of officers available.  It also creates an appeals process through the police chief, if a request is denied or the number of officers is more than the organizers can afford.  The final part of the legislation will give the 10-B program more transparency by mandating the Entertainment Commission to collect data from SFPD on the number of officers used for such events and how much money is spent.

“By creating a clear timeline and a transparent process for how festival organizers apply for 10B security, we are ensuring that festival organizers aren’t hit with unforeseen costs a few days before an event,” said Campos.  “I want to thank Chief Suhr for working with my office and the festival community on this legislation. San Francisco would not be the incredible city it is without the many festivals that bring us music, dance, culture and food year round, and we need to do everything necessary to protect these festivals. This legislation is one important piece of the equation”, said Campos.

The Mayor has allowed this legislation to become law ushering in a new season of safety and cooperation between events and SFPD.

For more information on this legislation and how it may affect your event, email us at

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VIDEO - Press Conference on the New 10B Legislation