Former San Francisco police sergeant and spokesman passes away

Neville Gittens

A former longtime San Francisco police officer and department spokesman has passed away, Sgt. Danielle Newman said Monday.

Neville Gittens died Sunday morning in Oakland. He had been suffering from an undisclosed illness for quite some time, police said.

Gittens had served with the San Francisco Police Department for just over 30 years, Newman said.

Gittens spent the last several years of his service at the airport. Throughout his career, he rose up from patrol officer to sergeant and retired at the rank of lieutenant. He originally served out of Central Station, then spent time in the department's gang task force unit, its domestic violence unit, the administrative unit and public affairs before retiring out of the airport in March of 2011, Newman said.

Police Chief Greg Suhr had nothing but kind words on Gittens when he talked to The San Francisco Examiner on Tuesday.

“He was the consummate gentleman,” Suhr said. “We're so sad right now, we can't even tell you.”

The weekend was particularly hard on Suhr, who besides losing Gittens, lost another friend, much-loved San Francisco firefighter Daniel Armenta, who passed away Saturday. The City has lost “two of the greatest gentlemen that I've known,” Suhr said. “My heart is broken.”

“Both of these guys gave their lives to The City and they've both gone away too soon,” he said.

Suhr's relationship with Gittens goes back to their days working at Central Station. “We broke in together,” he said. “He could have given a class on being classy.”

Bay Area NewsCrimeCrime & CourtsNeville GittensSan Francisco PoliceSFPD

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

BART Ambassadors are being called on to assist riders in social situations that don’t require police force. <ins>(Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)</ins>
BART formalizes ambassador program, prepares to hire more crisis intervention specialists

Public safety and police reform are key elements in campaigns of Board members Dufty and Simon

School board members Gabriela Lopez (left) and Alison Collins (right) say they have been the subject of frequent hateful, racist and sexist attacks during their time on the school board. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F Examiner)
Angered by Lowell decision, SFUSD grad targets school board members with violent imagery

Facebook page depicts two women of color on board with swastikas and x-marks on their faces

On Oct. 13, people lined up to vote early for the presidential election in Southlake, Texas. <ins>(Shutterstock)</ins>
<ins></ins>
Five things to watch for in the run-up to Nov. 3

Down-ballot races, as much as the presidency, will determine the future course of this nation

Supervisor Sandra Lee Fewer, a former school board member, said it was ‘ridiculous’ that the school district did not yet have a plan to reopen. <ins>(Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)</ins>
Supervisors demand SFUSD set a timeline for reopening

Pressure grows on district to resume in-person learning as The City’s COVID-19 case count goes down

“Tenet,” the new Christopher Nolan film starring John David Washington, is showing at the drive-in in Concord. (Courtesy Warner Bros.)
Drive-ins are popping up all over the Bay Area

There are pandemic-era options for movie lovers who want to watch outdoors

Most Read