ONLY ON ABC7NEWS.COM: SFPD Chief Bill Scott discusses department's future

Wednesday, December 21, 2016
EXCLUSIVE: SFPD Chief Bill Scott discusses future of department
EMBED <>More Videos

Bill Scott was introduced as San Francisco's new police chief today. He sat down for an exclusive interview with ABC7 News.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee introduced Bill Scott as the city's new police chief today. Scott was a deputy chief with the Los Angeles Police department. Scott, 52, was open and candid about himself and his feelings in exclusive interview with ABC7 News.

The selection of Scott was a surprise to many in the law enforcement community, including the police union, which had supported Interim Chief Toney Chaplin.

FULL VIDEO: Mayor Ed Lee announcing Bill Scott as new SFPD Chief

First -- some controversial issues he'll face; the use of Tasers, which they used at the LAPD.

"Do you support the use of Tasers?" asked ABC7's Vic Lee.

"I do, I've seen the good in having the ability to have the option; the less lethal option which is a good thing," said Scott.

And restricting police from shooting at moving vehicles -- a proposed reform which the police union opposes. Scott says that policy was also in place at the LAPD.

"There were some contentions back and forth, but at the end of the day when the policy changed we accepted it and we're fine; 272 reforms and I read them all and they're reasonable and we're going to do our best to get that done," said Scott.

To get that done means convincing a police force that has seen only three outsiders as chief in recent decades. All three had challenges getting the support of the rank and file.

"Everything starts with relationships," said Scott.

RELATED: Bill Scott named new San Francisco police chief

Scott says it's like when he became captain of a new station in Los Angeles.

"I made an appointment every day to talk to at least two to three people, even if just for 10 minutes.

That allows you to get to know people on one to one basis and then you can do the other things you need to do in order to really lead," said Scott.

He feels the same with the police union which has often been at odds with the department.

"Union or management, we're all police officers here to do one thing, keep the city safe and do it the right way," said Scott.

ABC7 News also asked him a question that's been posed by others, and that is if San Francisco was simply a stepping stone to his applying for chief at the LAPD, where he's been for 27 years. He has been mentioned as a successor to Chief Charlie Beck. His answer is that San Francisco is where he always wanted to live as a young man. It's taken him this long to get here.