The San Francisco Police Department is asking the public for help recruiting a replacement police chief, following up on a promise made to anti-brutality activists last May that community input would be valued during the hiring process.
The open slot comes on the heels of the resignation of Police Chief Greg Suhr, whose struggling reform efforts were met with rebuke from a community that had grappled with three fatal officer-involved shootings of people of color and racist text messaging scandals, all of which occured within a six month period.
In addition to hosting five community meetings during the last three weeks of August, the city's police commission has drafted anonymous surveys for both officers and community members to express their hopes for the new hire, who will be permanently replacing interim chief Toney Chapelin. An email account has been set up to receive additional information from respondents who feel like the survey doesn't cover enough information.
A summary of data collected will be publically available prior to September, when the commission will begin holding interviews for the position, according to a statement.
The department is likely hoping that the outreach efforts will ease strained relations and build trust between police and people of color, many of whom have alleged that the city's police treat black and latino men and women unfairly. An activist-led hunger strike lasting 17 days saw 400 people march to City Hall in a show of support that gained nationwide attention.
Mayor Ed Le has called the need for reform a "priority," and an issue that the city and community must tackle together.