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SF Hires Mesa Chief As Top Cop

June 17, 2009  | 

Looking to bring new blood into the San Francisco Police Department, Mayor Gavin Newsom has reached outside the city and selected George Gascón, police chief of Mesa, Ariz., to replace outgoing Chief Heather Fong, the San Francisco Chronicle reports.

Gascón, 55, has been Mesa's chief since 2006, and before that was an assistant chief in Los Angeles. He will be the first outsider to head the San Francisco Police Department since the 1970s.

In the political realm, Gascón is Hispanic - he immigrated to the United States from Cuba as a boy - and is an advocate for sanctuary policies for illegal immigrants, which San Francisco has long embraced. He is also considered an expert on the issue of racial profiling of suspects.

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