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The Will To Reform

August 1, 2022
Tracy McCray - SFPOA President

Back on November 30, 2020, the SFPD and SFPOA signed a joint agreement titled The Police Reform Collaboration Agreement #1. As this agreement was titled #1 we thought that there would follow more discussion and agreements for reform. The goal of agreement #1 was to redirect 17 categories of police calls for service to non-police response. In the document you can see it states in the last paragraph, “The SFPOA commits to the interests, goals and objectives of this Collaboration Agreement as part of its continuing effort to cooperate with the City in pursuing police reform.” I believe this clearly states our willingness to support the fundamental changes in effective and forward-thinking policing of the future. This agreement would also be effective in other ways; for example it would take pressure off of our officers given our staffing shortage.

In the spirit of transparency, the document is printed on this page. We are trying to pursue partnerships with other city agencies to move forward in what everyone agrees are not police calls for service. Frankly, it is time to put up or shut up! We are almost two years on from when this agreement was signed. Reform, Reform, Reform, that’s all we have heard from certain city officials and others, as if the union has not tried to meet to try and get this done. The union is not the department, let’s get that straight. For us it’s about wages, benefits and working conditions. It’s about keeping officers safe as they go out and do a job that has numerous pitfalls, obstacles, and dangerous conditions when we don the uniform. We choose to focus on the positives like making connections with the people we serve, providing that helping hand when a person needs it, and yes removing a threat from the community.

If you read the articles from Rich Cibotti or Lou Barberini, you can see how our hands are being tied so we are less effective at doing our jobs. From policies that read like manifestos to procedures that now have ten extra steps, we are being bound to desks to comply with new paperwork etc. Soon you will need a PhD to do the job of an officer! When people who have never done the job are responsible for policies, it is a recipe for misunderstandings. It is nice to hear ideas from academia, but they are not rooted in the rational thinking of the common man or woman. They do not address human nature. The rule of law should never be so one sided that it loses its effectiveness to be understood by all. Because most people who are out in society committing violent acts against their fellow human, are not respecting the rule of law, they are breaking it.