Fong aims to test her shooting skills

The City’s police chief may be a little rusty with her gun. Or her handgun, an outdated Beretta, may be a little rusty.

Either way, Chief Heather Fong will put both her gun and her skills to the test soon in the wake of a letter sent to city officials Monday by a reassigned officer who revealed that the chief of police hasn’t shown up to the department’s biannual shooting range certification in about five years.

In addition, Fong still carries a handgun that was phased out in 2004 when the Police Department required all officers to switch to the newer SIGSauer .40-caliber handguns.

“The duties of a police chief are demanding and time consuming,” Fong said in a statement. “I acknowledge that I have not scheduled time for firearm requalifications. This will be addressed for future requalifications.”

That may happen within the month, according to the latest department bulletin, calling a range of badge numbers, including Fong’s 2020, to a shooting-range certification.

The Police Department operates two shooting ranges, one near Lake Merced and another at San Francisco International Airport. All police officers who carry firearms must test their skills at the range twice a year, according to the bulletin.

The letter was written by Officer Andrew Cohen, who was sent to an administrative position after producing a series of offensive video vignettes in 2005. It was sent to the Police Commission, Mayor’s Office, Board of Supervisors and several other city leaders. It called for an immediate investigation from both the department’s management control division and the Police Commission, which meets this evening.

“I know the Chief is busy and an occasional lapse or nonappearance may be justified, however ten consecutive failures to qualify are simply outrageous and insulting to all the men and women of the department,” the letter said.

bbegin@sfexaminer.com

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