By Tracy McCray, POA Vice President
As November comes to a close, I hope everyone shared an enjoyable holiday with family. Given the constraints that have been placed on gatherings and get togethers, whether for family or friends, we are all doing the best we can. As hard as it has been, especially for some, hopefully we can all continue to self-monitor to keep everyone safe. A lofty goal, but one I hope that people are still following.
By now our Tentative Agreement should have been voted on and a decision made. There has been much said about our Association and Police Officers as a whole. Since I was appointed to the Executive Board, I have attended a boat load of meetings, including the dreaded meet and confer that people have been talking about. I guess certain factions want different rules for us, that we should blindly follow, as if they know best about how to do the job of an officer, which is more complex than they can imagine. The Monday morning quarterbacking by those who enjoy sitting behind a desk is perplexing. They would have everyone believe defund policing is what everyone wants. But that is not true. Do people want us to consider alternatives when responding to certain situations? Yes — and guest what so do we! Like any profession there are many things we can improve upon, I think we all know that. There are many things that the public can improve on also, but I am not here to write a thesis.
The battle cry that the POA is delaying reform is inaccurate and tired. It is a narrative that has come up again and again. It has been told by some who either don’t know better or wish to cause confusion. Can they come up with something else? Because it’s simply not true. There are 272 recommendations for reforming the SFPD. 272. How many of those do you believe the POA has a hand in? Come on take a guess? 100, 150, 200...how about 10. Yes, 10. With only one of those recommendations mentioning us by name and that is recommendation 69.1. The false narrative is that the POA has the power to implement reforms. Again, not true. So, what is our role in the reforms? If and only if the reform is a change to working conditions, which triggers meet and confer. For example: tasers. When a new tool is introduced, we must meet and confer as to the policy and the rules governing its use. But this also can change as management prerogative can come into play, as the department has the right to control the direction in which the department is heading. For example: Use of Force policy prohibiting shooting at moving vehicles or prohibiting the use of the carotid restraint technique. It’s a balancing act on trying to get the best policy to officers so they know what constraints and systems they are working in.
Do we drag the meet and confer process out? No. We have no interest in prolonging the process. We have new leadership at the POA. Whatever the POA relationships of the past were, we cannot continue to be held responsible for them. It’s counterproductive to real reform and progress. In past articles I have invited some in our government to come to the table to talk. I would hope that those that want to see change are sincere because I am.
Switching gears, the POA in partnership with the department, presented a check for almost $14,000 to Bay Area Cancer Connection, which provides support for cancer patients and their families. A special thanks to Chief Scott, Assistant Chief Moser, Rina Bello, and Collen Carvalho, and the team behind the scenes that did the heavy lifting. Sgt. Ray Padmore, SFPD Cadets and SFPD ALERT members, for working at the pop-up shops to sell the merchandise — we thank you! And last, but certainly not least, to Bernadette Thompson, Cyndee Bates and Leah Daye, who ran the operation to make our fundraising effort a resounding success!