Former San Francisco police sergeant and spokesman passes away

Neville Gittens

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

Just Posted

Pharmacist Hank Chen is known for providing personalized service at Charlie’s Pharmacy in the Fillmore.<ins> (Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner)</ins>
Left: A Walgreens at 300 Gough St. is among San Francisco stores closing.
Walgreens closures open the door for San Francisco’s neighborhood pharmacies

‘I think you’ll see more independents start to pop up’

San Franciscans are likely to have the opportunity to vote in four different elections in 2022. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Electionpalooza: SF school board recall will kick off a flurry of local races

‘It’s going to be a lot of elections and a lot of decisions for voters to make’

Four young politicos were elected to city government on the Peninsula in 2020. From left: Redwood City Councilmember Michael Smith; South San Francisco Councilmember James Coleman; Redwood City Councilmember Lissette Espinoza-Garnica; and East Palo Alto Councilmember Antonio Lopez.<ins> (Examiner illustration/Courtesy photos)</ins>
Progressive politicians rise to power on the Peninsula. Will redistricting reverse the trend?

‘There’s this wave of young people really trying to shake things up’

The fate of San Francisco nicotine giant Juul remains to be seen, as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is reviewing whether to allow certain flavored vape products on the market. <ins>(Jeenah Moon/New York Times)</ins>
How the vape king of teen nicotine addiction rose and fell in San Francisco

‘Hey, Juul, don’t let the door hit you on the way out’

Most Read