With h brown
Reforming the SFPD
City needs Public Safety Officers
February 15, 2007
There absolutely cannot be police reform in San Francisco as
long as Gavin Newsom is mayor. Further, reform cannot come with
Louise Renne as the head of the Police Commission. The Office
of Citizens Complaints cannot do it's work with light-duty police
officers working in their offices. Both the Commission and the
OCC (as well as the Ethics Commission) need dramatic staff increases.
The Police Chief should be fired immediately.
Mayor Gavin Newsom
Police Commission President Louise Renne
San Francisco Police Chief Heather Fong
Retirements from the force should be accelerated, not delayed.
There should be a hiring freeze until screening methods and managers
are replaced. Tim Hettrick and Marty Halloran's anti-pot unit
should be disbanded.
Kamala Harris has got to go. The entire SFPD should be tested
for steroids and a continual random testing for Jason's Juice
(tip of the hat to Jason Giambi), HGH and other drugs that foster
aggression should be made permanent.
District Attorney Kamala Harris
The next 400 hires from the SFPD budget should be for neighborhood
Patrol Specials, a force older than the SFPD and one devoted to
walking neighborhood beats.
I'd be happy just to see steroid testing. I have no doubt that
it is the use of this drug by pumped-up officers that causes the
vast majority of civilian injuries at the hands of the field officers.
Every cop who puts someone in the hospital emergency room should
be tested for steroids on the spot. Complaints of police brutality
would instantly fall by 50%.
Cops should be required to do the same one man/woman patrols
that past cops walked. This is not Baghdad. Any officer afraid
to walk the streets of San Francisco alone (unless you count a
13 shot pistol, a hundred rounds of ammunition, clubs, pepper
spray, armor, communications) should resign.
The department needs helicopters back in the air and kiosks
(cobans) on the ground at the most dangerous intersections. Cops
gotta ride buses in uniform.
The SFPD has more bodies, making more money, better equipped
and trained at anytime in their history and they're doing a worse
job than at any point in the last 50 years.
This is all Gavin Newsom's fault. How the hell can Heather Fong
still be chief when the City just paid 83k bucks to a gay guy
because 2 of it's officers used his head as a mop for his urine
while screaming homophobic obscenities at him?
Kamala Harris is equally guilty. How can a drunken drug addict
toss his long-time (and sober) partner out a window to her death
and not be prosecuted? How can a lout rushing to a soccer game
run a vehicle with 3 Chinese-American fathers off the road and
kill them and not face a single charge? How can red-necked homophobic
marines beat the hell out of a gay glee club and not be charged?
The cops are thuggish, cynical liars. The Mayor and D.A. trade
public safety for political expediency. To reform the first, you
have to replace the latter. Absolutely anyone would be better
than Newsom and Harris. Let's start there.
In an ideal world
Forward thinking people have been combining the functions of
Public Safety personnel for decades. In Desperes, Missouri, cross-trained
personnel alternate between police, fire and ambulance duty. It
relieves boredom and gives the public a better force. Every recruit
has to at least have begun college and be willing to make a pledge
to finish. They've been doing this for 35 years.
It is a particularly meaningful experience for those who have
been exclusively cops. I've fought fires with them and they are
amazed to be cheered when they roar up to an emergency with sirens
blazing. Those who have just fought fires welcome getting off
their asses in the TV room and getting to pack heat. Old time
ambulance personnel love to see FD couch potatoes do 12 hour shifts
clearing airways on junkies and drunks. I've a suggestion to make
us even safer.
Create: The SF International Mutual Aid Force
Become an SF Public Safety Officer and spend a year serving
on the Tokyo Fire Department. Or, in Zurich. Wanna see Istanbul?
All doable. Of course, their officers train and serve here.
They learn our streets. They learn where our cisterns are located
and where the Fire Chief hid the fire plug adapters. They get
to familiarize themselves with the workings of an SF City ambulance
and pick up the language at the same time.
Every recruit should be guaranteed a year overseas for every
10 years of service. Ten percent of the SF forces should be attached
to foreign departments at all times.
The main advantage? When the big one hits, be it in Tokyo, Istanbul,
Paris, London or at Van Ness and Market, locals will know that
trained help is on the way (or, we could rely on FEMA). Cities
participating in the program can rest assured that the help set
down by air, sea or land will know the terrain, the equipment
and the people.
Presently? It starts with replacing the Mayor and the D.A..
No meaningful reform of SF Public Safety can occur while Newsom
and Harris are in office. For whatever reason, the Mayor is an
apologist and an enabler for the Police Officers Association.
And, the D.A. is more concerned with her conviction percentage
than your health and well-being, let alone justice.
Oddly, the first meeting of the new Board of Supes' Public Safety
Committee began 19 minutes ago. It's a start.
h. brown is a 62 year-old keeper of sfbulldog.com,
an eclectic site featuring a half dozen City Hall denizens. h
is a former sailor, firefighter, teacher, nightclub owner, and
a hard-living satirical muckraker. Email
h at email@example.com.
Editor's Note: Views expressed by columnists
published on FogCityJournal.com are not necessarily the views or beliefs of
Fog City Journal. Fog City Journal supports free speech in all its varied forms
and provides a forum for a complete spectrum of viewpoints.