Supervisor Chris Daly has had at times a rocky relationship with the San Francisco Police Department, and Daly’s brief acquaintanceship with police Chief George Gascn appears steered towards similarly (familiar) stormy waters.
Daly, faithful readers may recall, greeted Gascn with some kind of expletive the first time the pair met (at City Hall, in Board of Supervisors chamber, during a hearing, when Gascn was addressing the public at the podium).
The supervisor said he was irked with the chief, who had scheduled press conferences and a publicized crackdown on crime in the Tenderloin, but hadn’t tried to schedule a meeting with the TL’s elected representative (Daly). Gascn said he’d tried to contact Daly through the supervisor’s City Hall office, but somehow the message was lost in the loop. So it goes.
But all is not forgiven. Daly is convinced Gascn never actually tried to contact him, and Daly produced an electronic paper trail Tuesday that he says proves as such. And “if the chief of police is perjuring himself in the press,” Daly said, “then I have a problem in terms of just responsible leadership in San Francisco.”
For that and other reasons Daly introduced a charter amendment Tuesday that, if placed on the November ballot and approved by voters, would pave the way to eliminate the chief of police’s office and put all law enforcement in San Francisco under the purview of the elected sheriff.
“We need to stand up to George Gascn, and his Los Angeles, or maybe Arizona-based, but not San Francisco values,” Daly said. “He is here less than a year, and he is here pushing” initiatives like the sit-lie ordinance, allowing cops to carry Tasers, ending Critical Mass, and blocking efforts to make SFPD spending on dignitary security public knowledge.
“This guy is out of control,” he added. “I think it’s about time we talk to Chief Gascn about San Francisco values and say, if you want to honor and respect San Francisco values, there’s a place here and if you don’t, find the next job somewhere else.”
Daly’s charter amendment, which is unlikely to ever see the ballot but all but guarantees an interesting committee hearing, calls for the creation of a task force that would examine how to merge the police and sheriff’s departments, and the absorption of the police department by the sheriff if the merger saves the city money, protects public safety, and piss off every man, woman or child with connections to the SFPD. Exploration of such a merger was recommended in a civil grand jury report in 2000. Daly’s also tried this before, way back in 2003.
The Appeal was unable to contact Chief Gascn for comment, as we do not possess things like the Chief’s cell phone number. The Appeal thought about asking cops we saw Tuesday about it, but decided to leave that to old media. Check in with them for the requisite anti-Daly tirades.