SFPD’s latest officers may be new, but bring experience

Ignatius Chinn worked the hardscrabble streets of Oakland for more than 20 years. He took on notorious organized-crime syndicates. He was promoted to detective, then supervisor. He served as an expert witness in gun-control cases.

Now, instead of looking back on his storied career, the 58-year-old lawman is starting over, taking a job on the night beat in San Francisco’s Bayview district.

Chinn is a “lateral transfer,” one of 10 recruits who left careers with other law-enforcement agencies to join the San Francisco Police Department.

Chinn has been in law enforcement since he joined the Oakland Police Department in 1970. Another recruit, William Ahern, is a Vietnam War veteran who investigated the Zodiac killings with the Department of Justice.

Not all the recruits are at the upper end of the age scale, however. The youngest of the group is 25 years old and has just two years of experience with the Pleasant Hill Police Department under his belt.

This is the second lateral transfer class to graduate since Mayor Gavin Newsom set a goal of hiring 700 new officers in five years.

The Police Department offers lateral transfers a salary of $72,956 to $97,656, based on an officer’s education and training — along with a $5,000 signing bonus, according to information on the department’s Web site.

Recruits can also retire with medical benefits and 30 percent of salary after 10 years in the department, according to SFPD spokesman Sgt. Neville Gittens.

Crispin Jones, who travelled 2,500 miles to become a San Francisco police officer, said the monetary benefits were an incentive, though the cash doesn’t go as far as in Athens, Ga., where he worked for nine years.

“The cost of living is a lot different,” he said.

Three other recruits previously served as officers with the University of California police in San Francisco.

Chinn said he is eager to begin his first assignment as a patrolman at Bayview Station.

“When you’re a detective, you’re more concerned with obtaining warrants,” Chinn said. “Patrol is a little more hands-on. You represent the city. It’s a change in pace.”

bbegin@examiner.com

Bay Area NewsCrimeCrime & CourtsLocal

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

Dr. Grant Colfax, director of the San Francisco Department of Public Health. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
SF moves into purple tier, triggering curfew and business shutdowns

San Francisco moved into the state’s purple COVID-19 tier Saturday, requiring The… Continue reading

San Francisco lacks housing data that would let it track rental vacancies and prices. New legislation is seeking to change that.<ins> (Photo by Joel Angel Jurez/2016 Special to S.F. Examiner)</ins>
Landlords blast proposal to require annual report on rentals as invasion of privacy

Housing inventory could give city better data on housing vacancies, affordability

University of San Francisco head coach Todd Golden coaches his team on defense during a 2019 gameat War Memorial Gymnasium on the campus of the University of San Francisco. (Ryan Gorcey / S.F. Examiner)
Stunner in Bubbleville: USF upsets fourth-ranked Virginia

Less than 48 hours removed from a loss to a feeble UMass… Continue reading

Health care workers would be the first group in the state to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. (Go Nakamura/Getty Images/TNS)
Hope on the way: Here’s what to know about California’s COVID-19 vaccine plan

The first batch of doses could hit the state as soon as early December

The Big Game was played Friday at Memorial Stadium in Berkeley. (Shutterstock)
Stanford blocks extra point to stun Cal, win 123rd Big Game 24-23

The 123rd edition of the Big Game featured a number of firsts.… Continue reading

Most Read