July 19, 2012
In a recent department-wide memo, San Francisco Police Chief Greg Suhr wrote, "Members are reminded not to confiscate unopened condoms." Referring to the city's harm-reduction policy and strategy regarding HIV and STDs, Suhr said, "Members may photograph or otherwise document possession of unopened condoms, money, and related paraphernalia when establishing probable cause for loitering for the purpose of prostitution.'" The chief said SFPD members should not confuse this order with previous guidance about the preservation of used condoms at crime scenes. The document was made available on July 13, more than three weeks after the Bay Area Reporter published an article in which two department officials from the same unit gave conflicting answers as to whether police were seizing condoms as evidence of sex work.