San Francisco Supervisor Tangles With Top Cop

Supervisor Chris Daly has harsh words, budget cuts, for SFPD

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Steve Rhodes
    San Francisco Supervisor Chris Daly, right, can be quite charming -- unless you cross him, in which case the claws come out.

    Six months in to his new job as San Francisco Police Chief, George Gascon showed up in City Hall to address the board on the issue of the costs of "dignitary security."

    The San Francisco Police Department has been unwilling to reveal how much it spends on security for public officials like San Francisco Mayor Gavin newsroom, worried that such disclosure might endanger said security.

    A bill introduced by Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi, a graduate of San Francisco's Police Academy, would require that politicians reimburse the department for security provided when campaigning for office outside the city.

    Gascon told the board that he would be happy to reveal the costs of such security, as long as not so much detail is made public that it compromises the safety of city politicians.

    But in the midst of his statements, Supervisor Chris Daly got up, walked past the podium, introduced himself to Gascon and then walked away, stage-whispering vulgarly -- though Daly suggested it wasn't necessarily directed at Gascon.

    Daly told the San Francisco Appeal that he wasn't happy about the lack of information about the SFPD's recent crackdown in the Tenderloin, which Daly represents on the board.

    Just how unhappy? Enough to suggest that the SFPD's budget by cut by over $20 million as part of mid-year budget adjustments to make up for San Francisco's continuing deficit.

    While that's less than the 20 percent reduction target set by Mayor Gavin Newsom, Daly admitted that it was a pretty "radical" move even for him.

    Then again, Daly will soon be termed out, and was never known for his eagerness to compromise even before he had to run for re-election, so he has little to lose.

    Photo by Steve Rhodes.

    Jackson West loves that Daly has absolutely no reason to be particularly civil or politic, and can't let it all hang loose.