I am extremely honored and humbled by my recent appointment to the Presidency of the San Francisco Police Officers Association. To represent and defend members of the SFPD who serve and protect our community 24/7, as their President, is without a doubt one of the all-time highlights of my 29-year career in law enforcement. I have represented members of this fine organization as a Director from Mission Station, as the Secretary of the POA, as the Vice President of the POA, and as a committee member on multiple POA Committees.
My first official act as POA President, and this may be my best act, was to appoint Rick Andreotti as Vice President and Matt Lobre as Secretary. These two officers bring a wealth of information and knowledge to the table. Both have served on multiple POA committees including the Negotiating Committee. They have also clearly proven themselves out in the field as savvy street cops and they have earned the respect of their fellow officers. I believe they are the future of the POA and I thank them for stepping up to serve and take on all the challenges facing our organization. They, along with Treasurer Sean Perdomo and Sgt-at-Arms Tracy McCray, will see that members will be continually and constantly represented in all aspects related to our job. I have the utmost confidence in each of them and I am proud to serve with them.
I can tell you firsthand as the Chairman of the Negotiation Committee that these past several months have been some of the most challenging that the POA has endured in decades. The complete lack of respect shown to the rank and file, by some in the SFPD and City Hall, demonstrates their naivete of our profession, what we do, why we do it, and how we do it. My team did an exceptional job in preparing for negotiations, presenting factual data during negotiations and mediation, and making an affirmative case for proper compensation and benefits during arbitration. The Arbitrator’s ruling in our (POA) favor proves that. If you run across any of my team members, offer them thanks because they left no stone unturned to see that our members receive what is due to them. Thank you Rick Andreotti, Matt Lobre, Dan McLaughlin, Greg Stetschulte, Gary Delagnes, Gregg Adam, and Marty Halloran.
I intend to hit the ground running as your new President because there is much to do and many changes and challenges in our profession that we will be facing. The Executive Board and I will address all of them much like previous POA Executive Boards have. We wont back down when we are in the right and regardless of any political theater that occurs in this city. If we are wrong, we will acknowledge it, accept it, and do what we can to make sure it won’t happen again. Having said that, I will also say that my members in the SFPD and the POA will no longer be made the heavies because of the failures of our society, our government, and families who have dismissed or abandoned the most vulnerable in our community.
When all else fails and when no one else can handle it, what happens? Call the cops. We are then expected to fix any and all problems in five minutes or less without touching anyone or hurting anyone. This is simply not the reality regardless of what the public sees on TV. My members will do their jobs and will serve the community as we always have, but as the new coach, I will take the same approach and see that those who protect our community are always protected.
As always, take care of each other stay safe.