Vulnerable agencies lose sworn officers due to city’s deficit

Two deputy police chief positions overseeing security at agencies vulnerable to terrorism will be cut due to San Francisco’s budget deficit.

The City no longer will have sworn police officers overseeing the Municipal Transportation Agency and the Public Utilities Commission.

The cuts were in response to legislation by Board of Supervisors President Aaron Peskin that would have forced police Chief Heather Fong to shrink the Police Department’s 13-member command staff.

But the changes will not affect police or city budgets as both positions were financed out of the budgets for the PUC and Muni at a cost of more than $206,000 each per year. The MTA and PUC are lobbying to keep the sworn officers and plan to civilianize the posts.

Deputy police chief Greg Suhr was appointed to oversee the PUC, which operates the 200-mile system delivering water to San Francisco from the Hetch Hetchy Reservoir, in 2005. PUC officials hope to retain him in a different capacity.

“The security director in that position was responsible for not only working with the city agencies here, but for working with all the law enforcement agencies between here and Hetch Hetchy,” Fong said.

Deputy police Chief Antonio Parra oversaw parking-control officers, Muni’s contracted security force, the safety of The City’s public transportation system and, starting later this year, taxi issues. In an e-mail to the Board of Supervisors Budget and Finance Committee, Muni head Nathaniel Ford said the cut will cause “significant upheaval to the agency.”

Nathan Ballard, a spokesman for Mayor Gavin Newsom, said the latest changes are part of a “new, more efficient command structure.”

“The mayor has directed the chief to deploy terrorist-trained homeland security specialists throughout city government, concentrating on our most vulnerable areas,” Ballard said. “The reassignment of the deputy chiefs will have no negative effects.”

A commander position in the Police Department’s administrative bureau also was cut, saving more than $167,000 per year, Fong said.

bbegin@sfexaminer.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

Giants second baseman Donovan Solano scores on a double in the seventh inning against the Dodgers at Oracle Park on July 29. (Chris Victorio/Special to The Examiner)
Will the Giants make the playoffs? Kris Bryant may be the answer

By Chris Haft Special to The Examiner You’d be hard-pressed to find… Continue reading

Tiffany Carter, a co-founder of SF Black Wallstreet, at her restaurant, Boug Cali West Coast Creole Shack in the La Cocina Marketplace on Friday, July 30, 2021. (Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner)
SF Black Wallstreet: Helping residents build wealth, reclaim spaces they’ve had to leave

Tiffany Carter moved back to her hometown of San Francisco five years… Continue reading

A prescribed fire at Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks was conducted in June 2016 to reduce hazardous fuel loading, increase watershed health, and restore the natural fire cycle in the Redwood Canyon area ecosystem. (Photo courtesy Rebecca Paterson/National Park Service)
Experts, UC scientists discuss wildfires in the state’s riskiest regions

Wildfires are nothing new in California’s history, but the magnitude and frequencies… Continue reading

Fourth-grade students at Lucerne Valley Elementary School don masks and Western wear for a “Walk Through California” history day during in-person instruction. (Courtesy of Krystal Nelson)
Confusion over mask mandate for California schools sparks tension between districts and parents

By Diana Lambert EdSource Shifting rules around mask mandates at schools are… Continue reading

Diners at Teeth, a bar in the Mission District, on July 9, 2021. Teeth began using digital menus based on QR code technology in August. (Ulysses Ortega/The New York Times)

Most Read