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Monday, January 10, 2011

Police Union Head Has 'Concerns and Regret' Over Gascón Appointment

Posted By on Mon, Jan 10, 2011 at 3:07 PM

George Gascón
  • George Gascón
The head of San Francisco's police union is circulating a bulletin to members today that expresses surprise and concern over the appointment of SFPD Chief George Gascón as the city's new district attorney.

The memo also strikes a positive note, however, pointing out that a former cop occupying the DA's office could help heal the long-running rift between the city's prosecutors and police officers.

San Francisco Police Officers Association President Gary Delagnes writes:

I was taken by complete surprise to learn that George Gascon accepted the interim position of District Attorney. When I received a personal call from the Chief Sunday morning, I expressed my concerns and regret about his departure from our Department. I also told him that I was optimistic that his appointment would be a good first step in bridging the gap between the DA's office and the SFPD that has existed for a very long time.

Delagnes goes on to state that Gascón's replacement as chief of police should be chosen from within the department. "We will do everything in our power to ensure that the next Chief will be a veteran member of the SFPD," he writes.

Outgoing Mayor Gavin Newsom tapped Gascón yesterday to replace Attorney General Kamala Harris, who had vacated the DA's office for Sacramento. Assistant Chief Jeff Godown -- whom Gascón brought from Los Angeles to join his administration -- will serve as interim chief, and has expressed interest in holding the position permanently. That would run counter to the union's desire for a homegrown cop at the department's helm.

Looks like San Francisco is in for yet another bout of political succession intrigue, this time within the police department, in the days and weeks ahead.

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Peter Jamison


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