Mayor Ed Lee has chosen the next San Francisco Police Chief, and, to the surprise of many, the job will not go to current interim Chief Toney Chaplin. Instead, the Chronicle reports that Lee will today announce his pick of Los Angeles deputy police Chief William Scott. While the Police Officers Association has yet to release a statement on the mayor's selection, which is slated to be officially announced at 11 a.m. today, the group had come out as a strong backer of Chaplin — even airing radio ads in support. It's even arguable that the controversial union's support and the fact that Chaplin lives in the East Bay both worked against Chaplin in the mayor's eyes.
SFist's Caleb Pershan will be on hand at City Hall for the press conference, and we'll update accordingly.
Scott, 52, is African American and currently oversees LA's approximately 58-square-mile South Bureau. According to the LAPD, he has been with the department since 1989 and has "worked assignments in patrol, detectives, gangs, Operations West Bureau, Internal Affairs, Professional Standards Bureau, the Office of Operations, Patrol Commanding Officer and Area Commanding Officer." It is the stint with the Professional Standards Bureau, and corresponding police reform work, that reportedly caught Lee's eye.
“He has been part of a department that during the last 10 years has undergone its own transformation, implementing a variety of reforms under a consent decree with the Justice Department,” a source told the Chronicle.
This experience will be vital for the Chief, as the Department of Justice released a report in October identifying incidents of bias within the SFPD and providing 272 recommendations for reform here as well. Although the recommendations are non-binding, the new Chief will still face pressure to carry them out.
It is not immediately clear what will happen next to Chaplin, though he may stay on in the deputy chief role he held prior to the resignation of Chief Greg Suhr in May. Chaplin initially said he had no desire for the permanent chief position before later changing his mind. He had faced a series of hurdles in his bid, however: Activists had worked to disqualify him from the running as recently as last month, questions had been raised about his education, and the Board of Supervisors just passed a non-binding resolution saying the Chief should live in San Francisco. Chaplin lives outside of the city in Castro Valley, and has said that he has no plans to move into SF.
Scott, who is married and has three kids, reportedly plans to live in San Francisco. His salary will be approximately $316,000 per year, and he will likely start next month. Scott's appointment does not require the approval of the Police Commission.
Update: William Scott spoke of coming from outside of the SFPD at today's press conference.
Mayor Ed Lee introduces incoming Chief William Scott https://t.co/by59kY3SxV— Officer Manfredi (@OfficerManfredi) December 20, 2016
The LAPD released a statement today on Scott's departure from LA and new job in San Francisco. It reads, in full:
Los Angeles Police Department South Bureau Deputy Chief Bill Scott is headed north up the 5 Freeway taking on a new role as the Chief of Police for the City of San Francisco. Scott is a 27-year veteran of the LAPD and is a graduate of the Senior Management institute of Policing. He has a bachelor’s degree in accounting from the University of Alabama. Scott has been a valued member of the Department’s command staff and has played an integral role in building bridges and strengthening relationships in Los Angeles’ South Bureau. In recent years he is credited with increasing public trust and enhancing the bond between the public and the police. He also helped to mobilize our Community Safety Operations Center (CSOC) earlier this year when South Bureau experienced double digit spikes in violent crime.
“The Bay Area’s gain is LA’s loss” LAPD Chief Charlie Beck said this morning. “Bill’s tactical skills, intelligence, and kindness embody the spirit of our department. We credit his leadership in the successes we had stemming the surge of violent crime in the South Bureau.” Chief Scott joins the long list of LAPD veterans who are leading law enforcement agencies across the country including, Police Commissioner William J. Bratton (New York City), Sheriff James "Jim" McDonnell (Los Angeles County Sheriffs), Chief James Craig (Detroit), Chief Sharon Papa (Hermosa Beach), Chief Andrew Smith (Greenbay), and Chief Arthur J. Miller (South Pasadena). That is just a partial list of the individuals who have been LAPD officers and are now some of the most important names in law enforcement. Chief Scott is expected to join SFPD in early 2017. We wish him great success.