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Experience, Trust, Betrayal

June 1, 2024
Tracy McCray - SFPOA President

In supporting a mayoral candidate, the elements of experience, trust, and betrayal carry significant weight.

Experience underscores the candidate’s capability to navigate the complexities of governance and effectively address the city’s challenges. Voters seek a candidate with a proven track record, someone who has demonstrated the ability to lead, make tough decisions, and enact positive change.

Trust is paramount; constituents must believe in the candidate’s integrity, honesty, and dedication to serving the public interest.

Any hint of betrayal, whether through broken promises, ethical lapses, or disregard for constituents’ needs, can erode trust and undermine the candidate’s credibility.

Therefore, voters scrutinize not only the candidate’s qualifications but also their past actions and behaviors, seeking assurance that their trust will not be misplaced.

The POA has been asked by some of the mayoral candidates for an endorsement. This is a unique position for the POA to be in as we have not been asked for our endorsement for quite some time, especially in a Mayoral election. We have made only two endorsements for district supervisors, and one state assembly seat, along with a couple ballot measures. Not like we are burning up the charts handing out those endorsements like candy at Halloween time. Ours should be a thoughtful and measured review of all the candidates with multiple viewpoints and thoughtful consideration at the table.

Bluntly put no one came knocking at our door for an endorsement back in 2020 or even before that time. Some in this city hated our guts and although they just did not outright say it like that, why sugar coat it now. That is why it is nice to look upon politicians who play the game as if we are gullible to believe that we are friends now. Ha! We are not friends, we are not enemies, but we are not friends. We somewhat co-exist in the same sphere, and as I told a group of young officers when I first got to Bayview Station, we are not friends, I have friends. So, to anyone in the political world, to make it clear friendship is not in the playbook, nor should it be when the stakes are so high.

Back in the the day, the POA did play in the political arena, with varying degrees of success. This piqued my interest to review our archives as well as talk to the previous leadership, retired officers, and some current members about their memories of any of those past endorsements the POA gave out. All that I spoke with have varying degrees of fondness or disdain that we had even discussed giving out an endorsement to certain politicians.

The POA has in the past endorsed people that we are far apart from on ideology of policing at this very moment, and we would not endorse them again. There is little common ground that we can agree on regarding the current state of the policing profession. Some say that we are regressing on reforms, while others would argue we are still moving forward. I think both sides could agree that they would not like a repeat of crime trending upwards the way it did just a few short years ago. And that’s good. What is concerning is the idea of the political winds that tend to blow based on the loudest critics and not the majority of constituents. We can’t forget that this is a reality.

While the homework continues on assessing the candidates for the upcoming November election, do we put all of our eggs in one basket and ride or die with one particular candidate or do we just say to heck with it and sit back and watch it all unfold? After all we would like to have a cordial working relationship with whoever occupies room 200, we want a safe city for all who live, work, and visit our great city. Political games should be the last thing we are focusing on. And, as I’ve said before, I am willing to work with anyone who wants the same. Political games won’t save the City, only political will can. Who has the political will?

As the great Dashiell Hammett wrote in The Maltese Falcon, “Most things in San Francisco can be bought, or taken.” I guess come November we will see which is true.