San Francisco Mayor Edwin Lee introduced new Police Chief Greg Suhr as a veteran leader who supports ongoing reform of the agency. Mayor Lee announced his choice of Chief Suhr at a swearning-in ceremony at city hall on Wednesday.
Chief Suhr arrives at the top police post with 30 years of law enforcement experience. He replaces Chief George Gascon, who left the department earlier this year after about 18 months to take the job of district attorney.
"Chief Suhr has been a leader within the SFPD with 30 years of experience and is deeply committed to ongoing reforms and increased accountability in the police department," Mayor Lee said in a statement. "His selection moves the SFPD into the 21st Century. He will work to bring violent crime in our city to historic lows and implement innovative crime prevention strategies."
In the top law enforcement role, Chief Suhr is committed to the creation of the Sixth Street Police substation in Central Market to "revitalize and transform the area and address quality-of-life issues," Lee said in the statement.
The new chief will also implement CompStat and gather crime data "for greater accountability" in training and direction of police operations. Other goals include reducing the backlog of disciplinary cases, engaging communities and city agencies in problem-solving partnerships, and presenting a department budget that "reflects the values and priorities of the SFPD," according to Lee.
"Greg Suhr is a professional police leader and a strong supporter of the hardworking men and women of the San Francisco Police Department," according to Gascón. "He's committed to our reform agenda, including making San Francisco the safest large city in the U.S., the implementation of CompStat, and discipline reform. Greg is the ultimate champion of community policing."
Chief Suhr joined the San Francisco Police Department in 1981 and rose through the ranks becoming captain of Bayview and Mission stations and deputy chief of field operations, the largest bureau in the department with more than 1,400 officers. He started working as a patrol officer at Tenderloin Station and also worked in the Street Crimes Task Force.
Chief Suhr served as deputy chief/captain of the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission in a homeland security capacity to protect San Francisco's Regional Hetch Hetchy Water System and Wastewater System, commander of patrol, commander of the Special Operations Division, captain and watch commander/lieutenant of Mission Station, and a narcotics sergeant.
Chief Suhr has worked with the Delancey Street Foundation and Dr. Mimi Silbert to implement Safe Corridor, dedicated to reducing juvenile violence and gang violence in the Mission District since the late 1990s. He has instituted sports programs at both Mission (soccer) and Bayview (basketball) stations where police officers participate in games with gang and community members to prevent and reduce violence in the community. Chief Suhr serves on the board of directors of the Boys and Girls Club of San Francisco and the Bayview YMCA.
Since Gascon's departure in January, SFPD Assistant Chief Jeff Godown served as interim chief.