The Law: Police for Hire

At 8:30 on an average night, the two police officers start by signing the logbook at San Francisco's Northern District police station. They scan the district's crime sheet, undergo inspection, then climb into a black, unmarked patrol car and exchange kisses before setting out to work.

What makes Ralph and Linnea Grebmeier notable is not just that they are man and wife but that the beat they pound is a family business. A member of San Francisco's freewheeling "Patrol Special" unit, Ralph Grebmeier paid $15,000 for the right to guard one of the city's 62 private patrol sectors—a two-mile-long swath that runs...

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