Police Commission Will Be Called to Explain Itself
Before meeting in closed-door sessions to select the next Chief of the San Francisco Police Department, the Police Commission pledged to vet candidates from within the department and to meet with officer groups — other than the police union, the vaunted Police Officers Association (POA) — prior to making its cuts. Yet at least seven in-house candidates were eliminated before they were interviewed by the Police Commission, which also broke its promise to meet with LGBT and minority-based police officer groups, a supervisor alleged Tuesday.
“It’s been a complete contradiction of what was projected,” said Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi, who called Tuesday for a joint hearing in which the Police Commission will be asked to explain itself. “I’m asking for transparency and better clarity.”
Among the in-house candidates for the top cop job who were “de-selected” prior to a formal commission interview and prior to the commission’s public meetings in the Bayview and Sunset are veteran Captains Denis O’Leary, Paul Chignell, Ann Mannix, Richard Correia, Steve Tacchini, Jim Molinari and John Goldberg — nearly all of whom are now commanding or recently commanded district stations, Mirkarimi said.
“What was the criteria used during the screen-down? Why don’t we get to know what it is?” he asked.
Meetings with the mayor’s office were also promised for groups like the SFPD Pride Alliance, which represents LGBT officers on the force, and groups representing Asian, Latino and black officers, Mirkarimi said.
Those meetings did not happen, and there is no way of knowing how many chief candidates remaining that are of color, he added.
“Nobody knows,” Mirkarimi said. “It appears that this exercise [of inclusion and transparency over selecting the next chief] was just that — an exercise.”
Members of the police commission could not be immediately reached for comment on Tuesday. Mirkarimi’s hearing will be held at a to be announced meeting of the Board of Supervisors’ Public Safety Committee.