Though rumors have swirled that acting San Francisco Police Department Chief Toney Chaplin would soon be offered the role permanently, Chaplin has demurred, saying that he hasn't even thought about the topic. That is, until Thursday, when he announced that he's "love" to take on the gig for good.
Chaplin, who was named acting chief following Greg Suhr's ouster after an unarmed woman named Jessica Williams was fatally shot by SFPD on May 19, said in a late July interview that that "he's been too busy and hasn't had time to consider whether he wants the permanent job as chief." But apparently he found time since then, because in a meeting with faith leaders Thursday, he said he definitely wanted the position.
"You know, I would love to get the job," Chaplin said when asked about the permanent chief position.
Chaplin "already has the support of San Francisco's faith community," ABC 7 reports, "who seem to so far like the direction the department is taking." That assessment of support seems accurate, as video from the station shows a standing ovation for Chaplin as he entered the meeting Thursday morning.
Chaplin's admission of ambition follows a few bumps in the road for headhunters seeking to fill the chief role: two weeks ago, the help wanted ad placed by recruiters Ralph Andersen & Associates went up then was taken down, amidst conflicting explanations from members of SF's Police Commission.
Ralph Andersen & Associates, which is being paid to $49,000, is also expected to compile survey results from community members, and to hold "Five community meetings will be held during the last three weeks of August at various locations throughout the City and County of San Francisco to obtain the characteristics and qualities the community is looking for in the next Chief of Police" to "widely encourage the community and Department participation and ensure transparency in the evaluation of attributes and characteristics of candidates for the Chief of Police position."
Wouldn't if be funny (or something) if, after all that, we ended up with the guy who was doing the job already?