Po­lice Com­mis­sion picks renom­i­nated

San Francisco Chronicle Late Edition - - BAY AREA - — Do­minic Fra­cassa Do­minic Fra­cassa is a San Francisco Chron­i­cle staff writer. Email: cityin­sider@ sfchron­i­cle.com, dfra­cassa @sfchron­i­cle.com Twit­ter: @sfc­i­tyin­sider @do­minic fra­cassa

San Francisco Mayor Mark Far­rell asked the Board of Su­per­vi­sors on Thurs­day to re­con­sider his picks for the city’s Po­lice Com­mis­sion, two days af­ter the board re­jected the same nom­i­na­tions in a 6-5 vote.

Far­rell re­sub­mit­ted his nom­i­na­tions of Joe Mar­shall and So­nia Me­lara to the board’s Rules Com­mit­tee. The com­mit­tee had ap­proved the nom­i­na­tions pre­vi­ously, but they were spurned by the full board at its meet­ing on Tues­day, leav­ing the com­mis­sion with­out enough mem­bers to hold a meet­ing.

“Joe and So­nia are both long­time ad­vo­cates for pub­lic safety, civil rights and re­spon­si­ble po­lice over­sight prac­tices,” Far­rell said in a state­ment. “By re­sub­mit­ting Joe and So­nia, I hope the Board of Su­per­vi­sors can quickly ap­prove these two highly qual­i­fied re-ap­point­ments im­me­di­ately af­ter the June 5 elec­tion.”

Both Mar­shall and Me­lara had served on the Po­lice Com­mis­sion, the po­lice depart­ment’s pol­icy-set­ting body, for years, and some su­per­vi­sors thought the time had come for a shakeup.

Su­per­vi­sor Malia Cohen said she re­spected Mar­shall and Mel­era’s years of ser­vice, but said they lacked the “strong lead­er­ship and vi­sion” nec­es­sary to steer the po­lice depart­ment at a par­tic­u­larly cru­cial junc­ture. Mar­shall and Me­lara have also been crit­i­cized as be­ing too close to the Po­lice Of­fi­cers As­so­ci­a­tion union, which has sparred with the com­mis­sion in the past.

Oth­ers, like Su­per­vi­sor San­dra Lee Fewer, said she thought the city’s next mayor should be al­lowed to make the ap­point­ments, rather than Far­rell, who will leave of­fice in July.

The com­mis­sion is in the process of es­tab­lish­ing the po­lice depart­ment’s pol­icy on the use of Tasers and im­ple­ment­ing the 272 re­form recommendations handed down by the U.S. Depart­ment of Jus­tice af­ter a se­ries of po­lice shoot­ings.

The board has two com­mis­sion picks of its own to make, and the Rules Com­mit­tee is ex­pected to be­gin vet­ting can­di­dates next week. The board’s se­lec­tions could be ap­proved this month, which would give the com­mis­sion a quo­rum in time for its first June meet­ing.

But Far­rell said he thinks that at such a piv­otal mo­ment for the po­lice depart­ment, the com­mis­sion should be fully staffed as soon as pos­si­ble.

“The res­i­dents of this city de­serve and are en­ti­tled to a fully seated Po­lice Com­mis­sion to con­tinue the vi­tal work of over­see­ing re­form mea­sures, hear­ing po­lice dis­ci­plinary cases and mon­i­tor­ing train­ing for Tasers,” Far­rell said. “At this cru­cial junc­ture in our re­form efforts, the lack of a full Po­lice Com­mis­sion is a dis­ser­vice to the peo­ple of San Francisco.”

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