Tenderloin police captain hands over command, citing personal reasons

Courtesy SFPD

In a farewell note to the Tenderloin, Capt. Jason Cherniss cited “difficult personal matters” when he announced Monday he would be handing over command of the district’s police station to Capt. Teresa Gracie.

Cherniss has been head of the Tenderloin Station since 2013 — when he replaced storied Capt. Joe Garrity — and left his post earlier this week to act as a liaison between the San Francisco Police Department and the Bay Area Urban Areas Security Initiative.

Within the next few weeks, Gracie is expected to take command, Cherniss said.

“I couldn’t be more proud than to take over such a great station,” Gracie said in an email to the San Francisco Examiner. “Both Capt. Cherniss and Capt. Garrity put us on a path to really help the community as a whole. It will be tough shoes to fill.”

Gracie is a 20-year veteran of the San Francisco Police Department and, in August, will have been a police captain for a year. As captain, she has headed the Special Victims Unit and the Tactical Company in the Special Operations Bureau.

She worked for nine years at Mission Station and has also previously been assigned to the Tenderloin, Bayview, Northern and Southern stations — where her career began.

Gracie said Cherniss will have a “big job” at the security organization, where he will manage grants between the federal grant agency and the Police Department.

Cherniss was not immediately available for further comment.

The Police Department has experienced recent shifts in command staff including the transfer of Capt. Raj Vaswani from Park Station to Bayview Station in April and the promotion of Jerome DeFilippo to captain at Southern Station. Capt. John Sanford took over for Vaswani at Park Station.

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