SFPD's new chief gathers neighborhood leaders in Bayview District

San Francisco's Acting Police Chief Toney Chaplin has started to reach out and introduce himself to the community.
On Monday night, he gathered a group of neighborhood leaders in the Bayview District, the same neighborhood where an SFPD Sgt. shot and killed a woman who was allegedly driving a stolen car. It was that incident that was the proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back in making Mayor Ed Lee ask for Chief Suhr’s resignation.

"I want to take this opportunity to introduce myself," said Chief Chaplin to an audience of dozens.
Many are people who live and work in the Bayview and Potrero neighborhoods.

At the Chief's side was a police commissioner, two police commanders and the captain of the Bayview station.

"I'm here to answer any questions you might have in regards to the department," said Chaplin.

Several speakers asked questions about last Thursday's deadly officer involved shooting.

"What can we do to make this investigation different that the others?" asked Kurt Grimes, a Bayview resident.

Chief Chaplin promised transparency and to implement reforms quickly.

"While I am here, I will commit to everything you talked about: use of force policy,  use of body cams; all of those things are going forward . I'm going to usher them to the finish line," said Chief Chaplin.

Others say it's not merely a change of police chief, but a change in the culture of the police department that is needed.

"What are the strategies for targeting certain neighborhoods? I feel like more stops happen in this neighborhood than in Pacific Heights," said Jackie Flin, executive director of A. Philip Randolph Institute, a nonprofit which helps underserved youth and adults.

The Chief says changes are already underway including doing a better job of vetting police recruits and hiring for quality, not quantity.

The chief said the department is currently conducting a nationwide search, but that the pool from communities of color isn’t big enough.
When KTVU asked the Acting Chief if he wants the job permanently, he replied that his focus right now is on making reforms.

He says he hopes officers will have body cameras by July.