Letters from our Readers: Skilled SFPD captains essentially demoted

Recently, there was a reshuffling of San Francisco Police Department captains, with newly appointed captains given commands at the Tenderloin, Northern, Central and Taraval stations.

As an SFPD retiree, I know all these officers well.

The innovative and popular Tenderloin captain was given a night assignment, and his replacement was previously in charge of the Police Academy. The Central captain was promoted to commander and the Northern captain was assigned to vice/narcotics. Two other senior captains were relegated to unpopular positions and another to homeland security — all demotions, in a sense.

Those captains shuffled to night positions are between the ages of 55 and 65, seemingly to force them out at a time when their high level of competence is most needed. One 53-year-old captain who was No. 1 on the promotion list in 2002 was given the “weekend” captain position. He works Thursday through Sunday, 10 hours daily, and is the only person in the entire SFPD who never gets a weekend off.

Such are the rewards of those who have great expertise, yet have been demoted due to politics and possibly age discrimination.

Richard Bodisco, SFPD retiree, San Francisco

Commuters take bike seats

I am a regular Caltrain bicycle commuter. Three times in the past week I have had to sit on the floor because nonbicyclists take up all the seats in the bike car. The conductors will not even ask the nonbicyclists to sit elsewhere. Caltrain even seems to have removed the bike seating stickers on the newer trains.

Sitting on the floor is unsafe, unsanitary and demeaning. I have seen patrons get into physical confrontations over this issue in the past. It delays trains. Furthermore, it encourages theft when bikers have to move to other cars to find a seat and can’t watch their bikes.

I have asked Caltrain customer service to please help save seats for bikers and they refuse, claiming that they cannot force people to sit elsewhere due to state law (but they are unable to cite the statute).

If the prohibition is against requiring nonbikers to move, why not just make an announcement or put up stickers asking nonbikers to sit elsewhere? Right now, most nonbikers don’t realize this is an issue.

Mike Swire, Belmont

Real global warming harm

Global warming fears have already irreparably harmed our economy. Many good-paying jobs in manufacturing and assembly have left the U.S. We have replaced the lightbulbs in our homes with the new ones made in China, and these contain mercury so they can’t be normally recycled. California TVs must be smaller in the future, thus destroying even more American jobs.

Do we allow our government to continue putting entire industries on the endangered list because of faked global warming data? And who in our government has benefited from legislation resulting from this junk science? We need to put the “green movement” on hold. What is fact and what is global fiction? And how much damage has been caused by not listening to the other side of the global warming argument?

Richard King, Palo Alto

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