(DISCUSSION/ACTION) Decide on a process and procedure for selecting a Chief Probation Officer
The commission will not identify or look at any person for the position. The commission will explore the
procedure and process for naming the next Chief and determine the nature of the appointment: interim and for how long before the selection of a permanent candidate.
Tracy Brown, Mission Neighborhood Ctr, read a letter requesting the Commission include community partners in a selection committee and process which will make recommendation on the next Chief. She used the example of the SFUSD, which did a citizen’s review.
Lavette Virden, Potrero Hill Neighborhood House encouraged the Commission to look at a local, someone with familiarity with the communities and local scene, when they consider hiring.
Hong Le, of VYDC, echoed these opinions.
Valerie Tulier, community advocate, commented that certain qualities be kept in mind when choosing the new Chief: a conscious person of color. Someone with an understanding of what the problems of the kids are, and creative and innovative, wanting to make the changes needed to serve those kids. Someone who is local, with the connection to the communities, and able to deal with the city’s political scene. She said the priority should be prevention and intervention oriented, and want alternatives to detention, and not just want to be a maintenance person for the status quo.
Comm. Hale said he felt that the Commission should focus on the 6 mos left before the new Mayor is chosen. There is the possibility that in the new Mayoral administration, Chiefs as well as Commissioners may be changed (that is the prerogative of the Mayor). Comm. Hale was primarily interested in finding someone who would just maintain the current activities going on until that time.
He reflected back when Ed Flowers was Chief. The Commission wanted a national search for a new one, so in the interim they chose an acting. For this time around, he feels the same thing should be done, naming a temporary for 6 mos, keeping the process closed and not open it up widely. As for the public concerns, he said he was sensitive to it. His feeling was that if the named interim is not from the Dept, then the learning curve would be tremendous. Comm. Bonilla asked about the timeline. Comm Dupre said that at the very latest, the end of June when the Chief leaves, but earlier if possible.
Comm Bonilla agreed that the next Chief needs to come from in-house. At the same time he was open to having an “advisory” body comprised of community partners.
There was a discussion about how this should take place, either holding community town hall meetings, or creating a task force to interview. There is a time consideration that needs to be kept in mind.
Comm. Richard said that if there were “young talent” available, then that should be considered too.
Comm. Hale commented that there was too much politics in juvenile justice. He felt others on the commission had another agenda that was not being laid openly on the table. He called the commission dysfunctional and too political. He emphasized that the determinant for selection should be qualifications, not youth, or color.
A short discussion was held regarding the role of the Ad Hoc Committee vs. the full commission. Clarified: the Ad Hoc’s role would be to set process, the final decision on selections would be in the hands of the full commission.
Comm Hale asked if the community would be as interested in participating in this process if it is only to name a 6 mos interim? Ans: yes, but not as a separate and parallel process They want to be an intrinsic part of the process.
Comm Hale said the City Attorney would have to answer the question of whether non-commission members could be included in the process for naming the replacement. Would the community members be allowed to be included in the decision-making? He thought it would be a violation of the Charter.
Comm. Bonilla stated that he thought this process should have a longer vision than just the 6 mos Comm Hale mentioned. That the foundations for the Dept’s future should start being laid with this task, in partnership with the community.
The Ad Hoc Comm. as constructed by Comm. Hale was re affirmed [Comm. Connolly (Chair), Chuck and Hale (members)] and their charge is to recommend a process for the selection of the CPO replacement.
The President had to excuse himself from the meeting, and turned it over to the VP.
Comm. Hale moved to table item #4 to the call of the Chair.