COMMUNITY POLICING MEETING SCUTTLED
Police chief won't accept advocate group guidelines
Top officials agree to guidelines without Newsom knowledge
December 6, 2005, 10:15 p.m.
By Pat Murphy
and Luke Thomas
Copyright fogcityjournal.com 2005
Two senior city officials approved an agreement on community
policing without Mayor Newsom's knowledge and without Police Chief
Heather Fong's acceptance, the Sentinel learned tonight.
City Chief-of-Staff Steve Kawa and Deputy Chief-of-Staff Alex
Tourk approved guidelines drawn by the African American Community
Board (AACB), without Newsom's knowledge or consent, mayor's press
secretary Peter Ragone confirmed late tonight.
The AACB is a 13-member body established in 1995 representing
African American organizations, non-profits, and communities of
faith. One seat is held by the mayor's office, and a second seat
is held by the mayor's Office of Criminal Justice.
When Fong was presented with the agreement today she refused
"They underestimated Heather Fong," observed a city
official outside of the Mayor's office.
The agreement called for selection of district police lieutenants
to be placed in the hands of community policing director Con Johnson,
a San Francisco police lieutenant.
Fong would not accept lieutenant selection being removed from
district police captain authority, several sources told the Sentinel.
Her refusal resulted in the AACB requesting Ella Hill Hutch Center
management cancel a joint workshop between District 5 Supervisor
Ross Mirkarimi and Mayor Newsom.
Hutch Center director George Smith agreed to the cancellation
request, frustrating members of the public who arrived for the
Mirkarimi prevailed on Smith to reopen the meeting, with some
Ross Mirkarimi and George Smith
The District 5 supervisor spoke to the press prior to reopening
the session, with barely restrained criticism of the mayor's office
as rumors floated, with details slowly forming clarity on why
the initial meeting was closed.
On learning the meeting had reopened, Dwayne Jones and Pastor
Amos Brown arrived 30 minutes later. Jones serves as director
of the mayor's Office of Community Development. Brown is a former
San Francisco supervisor and political supporter of Mayor Newsom.
Dwayne Jones (left)
With most people still not clear on what had happened or why,
everyone involved stressed desire for continued mutual respect
with hope of bringing community policing to reality.
Details follow tomorrow.