Never, before have, so many wanted to close out a year like our country wants to close out 2020. From COVID to wildfires to a budget crisis to an all-out national assault on our profession, the end of 2020 cannot come quick enough.
While we flip 2020 the proverbial bird, we all know that 2021 will not be a year full of unicorns and rainbows. Today’s problems will carry over and, in some cases, things might get worse. We cannot panic. Throughout 2020’s trauma, I have been struck by the incredible poise, determination, professionalism and dedication of our SFPD officers.
When the pandemic hit, you did not cower. You came to work, you helped each other, and you served our community. When protesters and rioters hit our city, when political opportunists took cheap shots at us, you did not quit. You came to work, worked honorably and served our community. When wildfires struck and threatened some of our own homes, you didn’t cry out “why me?” you dealt with your personal issues and we helped one another. When the City asked for financial relief to help balance the budget, you didn’t complain, you supported a process that helped the City during its tough time and protected your interests over the long term.
Make no mistake, the pressure on police officers will be even more intense in 2021. California’s legislators are dusting off their failed bills, putting lipstick on them and will be resubmitting them. Bolder lawmakers will reach even further. They will try to take away qualified immunity; they will try to “decertify” cops for minor infractions; they will push to expose more of your private personal information to the public.
Locally, we face similar challenges. This nonsense about the SFPOA delaying police reforms is a myth repeated by some, despite the facts and despite even Chief Scott saying that it’s not true. They don’t even know the reforms they want. They just want “reforms”. Some of these folks like to pick on cops for sport.
Regardless of what 2021 has in store for us, we will be ready to take it on. No different than when you’re working in the field, we will assess the situation, create a plan to address it and then execute on that plan. The SFPOA will never stop fighting on your behalf. And in the coming year, we will be asking for your help in executing our strategies.
Until that time, enjoy the upcoming holiday season with your friends and family. Take the opportunity to appreciate them. And please take care of yourselves and each other.