Toney Chaplin, an Oklahoma native and 26-year veteran of the San Francisco Police Department, has been tapped to head the department until a permanent chief can be found.
Chaplin will serve as acting chief in place of former police Chief Greg Suhr, who resigned Thursday hours after a fatal police killing of a woman in the Bayview District.
Earlier this year, Chaplin was put in charge of a new bureau to deal with community-oriented policing. The Bureau of Professional Standards and Principled Policing is part of The City’s efforts to transform the department and help implement the recommendations of the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Community Oriented Policing Services, which launched a review of San Francisco police in January.
Chaplin holds a civil service rank of lieutenant despite being recently made deputy chief. He joined the force in 1990 and served in Operation Desert Storm the next year.
Before taking up his previous post earlier this year, Chaplin was a lieutenant in the homicide unit.
In a 2005 article about him in the Police Officers Association journal, Chaplin was described as “a hard-charging police officer and one of the veteran members of the San Francisco Police Department Gang Task Force.”
The article went on to describe Chaplin as an expert in the field of gangs. “Inspector Chaplin’s quick-talking interview and interrogation technique have proven invaluable when eliciting admissions and confessions from even the most hard-core gang members,” noted the piece.