Alluding to calls she'd made to vet incoming SFPD chief Bill Scott, who comes from 27 years with the LAPD, Board of Supervisors President London Breed said yesterday that ''they're sad to lose you," addressing Scott in her remarks.
That sentiment was reiterated by officers to the Los Angeles Daily News: Describing a "big loss" to the department, Valley Bureau Deputy Chief Robert Green said that "Scott will be a “good change-agent” for SFPD, adding that he was “very much somebody that’s brought accountability to the [LAPD].”
Vice president of the Los Angeles Police Protective League Jerretta Sandoz also sang Scott's praises: “I’ve found Chief Scott to be an honest and humble leader who has supported the rank-and-file police officers under his command,” she said to the LA Daily News. “He has always approached police work with passion and integrity, and he will be missed.”
Scott received a warm public welcome from the Police Commission yesterday, and he even invoked the kind treatment he'd received from officers at SFO when he'd flown up from Los Angeles, unaware who he was and that he had come to lead their department. But perhaps if they had known that fact, they might have reacted differently. As an outsider coming in, Scott's challenge will be to establish trust with rank-and-file officers as well as with the notoriously intransigent Police Officers Association here in San Francisco.
Asked specifically about how he planned to address that body, Scott said yesterday that he would "get the POA he deserved," explaining that he would seek an open line of communication and a good-faith policy of cooperation. Now KRON4 has a statement from the POA, who apparently haven't, at least in President Martin Halloran, completely gotten over the snub of acting Chief Toney Chaplin, a 26-year SFPD veteran who appeared to be on the inside track for the position. The statement:
"The POA was supportive of Interim Chief Tony (sic) Chaplin during the search process for a new chief. We look forward to meeting William Scott. We anticipate that he will tap into the tremendous talent of the men and women who make up the SFPD. The POA hopes to work closely with him as Chief and we are committed to helping him move the department forward here in San Francisco.”
All in all, that could have been worse, considering the previous tone-deafness and reflexive-defensiveness of the POA.
Meanwhile, Scott gave his first interview to ABC 7's Vic Lee. "I know a lot of folks are somewhat apprehensive" Scott said, noting hat he hopes to set people at ease by meeting with them. And, speaking of the POA, Scott said firmly that "Union or management, we're all police officers here to do one thing, keep the city safe and do it the right way." Here, the interview: