With a little more than a year on the job, talk is heating up that San Francisco's police chief may be returning to Los Angeles. SFPD Chief William Scott is one of three finalists to become the next Los Angeles Police chief, according to the L.A. Times.
"He hasn't said anything to me about whether or not he is staying or leaving," says Former SF Police Commissioner Joseph Marshall, who served on the San Francisco Police Commission for 14 years. It's a post he hopes to soon return to.
Marshall explained the process that lead then-mayor Ed Lee to select William Scott as the city's top cop in December 2016.
"Generally we've done a national search. We had a search firm come in and help us vet names, says Marshall. From there, numerous interviews and Scott became one of the commission's top picks for the job, leaving it up to then-Mayor Lee. Lee swore Scott in back in January 2017.
However, after only being on the job at the department for nearly a year and a half, some questioned if it was a wise decision choosing Scott. Marshall says yes, because Scott was the best person for the job at that time, but the 25-plus year veteran of the Los Angeles Police Department, may return home.
"He said and I believed him and we all believed him. I'm sure the Mayor believed him. That he wanted to be the chief of police in San Francisco and wanted to do the best job. Who knows what could happen in the future," says Marshall.
He says he doesn't believe Scott used the chief spot in San Francisco to boost his resume or as a tie over until the LA a job came open.
Marshall says he feels the chief did like anyone should. Look for new opportunities, especially with a new mayor on the horizon.
"Under Mayor Lee, he was the guy. Is he going to be the guy for the next mayor? I don't know. He doesn't know. We all don't know. So the changing political climate in San Francisco can also affect the chief," says Marshall.
He says if Scott does leave, the next chief will become the seventh person to lead SFPD in 14 years. That's including interim chiefs. Marshall says the rank and file officers who have to deal with constant change in leadership are the ones hurt the most.