SF police chief skips firearm training

June 4, 2008 2:03:39 PM PDT
This is a very awkward position to be in right now, as someone who is supposed to set an example for other officers, Fong acknowledges she has violated an important policy.

That's why she told ABC7 News she will accept any disciplinary action taken by the San Francisco Police Commission.

In order to carry a gun, even San Francisco's chief of police must go through firearm re-qualification every six months.

San Francisco Police Chief Heather Fong has missed several years of re-training.

"I don't know how many years, but I know that the responsibilities and the duties of the chief are not only demanding but very time consuming and I acknowledge that I have not scheduled that time for re-qualification and that will be handled," said Fong.

Fong said she has notified the San Francisco Police Commission. Its members will meet Wednesday night. They could take disciplinary action against her.

"One time is too much when things are supposed to be in compliance. Certainly, she should have done it, she didn't do it at the same time you know she has to fulfill the other duties and responsibilities as far as discipline and sanctioning people that has to happen too. She'll get her record cleaned up," said Police Commissioner Joe Marshall.

Marshall said it's unlikely they will suspend her. In light of this, chief Fong said there will be changes within the department.

"This is something we will look at for the entire department because there are others who have not qualified as well, so I am one but I do need to set the example and I will make sure the is a priority for me," said Fong.

Former Police Chief Frank Jordan says he never missed re-qualifying, and stresses its importance.

"That's a very critical point in a police officer's arsenal if you don't know how to qualify for a handgun every six months then you a danger to someone out on the street," said Jordan.

Fong said she would be willing to give up her firearm if asked to by the commission.

"Should they take her gun away?" asked ABC7's Lyanne Melendez.

Oh, I don't think so, I don't think so, I don't think so," said Marshall.

This all became public when Officer Andrew Cohen sent a letter of complaint to the San Francisco police commission.

Cohen is one of the officers who was suspended over a video that made fun of segments of the police force, that some found offensive. He's still on desk duty, and his gun has not been returned to him.


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