SFPD shakes up command before naming of permanent police chief 

Interim police Chief Jeff Godown has made changes to some of his top command positions as Mayor Ed Lee prepares to name a permanent chief, but the chief insisted Sunday that the moves are unrelated.

Godown announced the changes in an internal bulletin to the department early last week.

Assistant Chief Denise Schmitt was shifted from the operations bureau, which oversees the investigations, patrol, airport and Homeland Security divisions, back to her old job as assistant chief of administration, overseeing budget, technology, training and personnel issues.

Albert Pardini, who had been serving as acting assistant chief of administration, is returning to his position as captain in that bureau. Cmdr. James Dudley will be acting assistant chief of operations, though Godown said he will personally oversee operations until the mayor makes his decision.

That position belonged to Godown when he was second-in-command to former Chief George Gascón.

Godown declined to give a reason for the moves.

“It has nothing to do with anticipation of the naming of a new chief,” he said.

Lee is reportedly now deciding between three finalists for police chief, and could make an announcement this week. Rumored to be in the running are Bayview Station Capt. Greg Suhr, Cmdr. Daniel Mahoney, who works in the office of the chief of staff, and an unnamed applicant outside the department. Godown also has applied for the permanent job, but would not address his current standing.

“Rumors abound in certain names, but I don’t know what the mayor’s doing,” he said.

As assistant chief of operations under Gascón, Godown also ran the department’s bimonthly public Compstat meetings, calling captains to account for rising crime in certain neighborhoods.

Godown was named interim chief after Gascón abruptly decided to become district attorney at former Mayor Gavin Newsom’s request in January, replacing Kamala Harris after her election as California attorney general.

aburack@sfexaminer.com

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