San Francisco Police Officers Association

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San Francisco Police Officers Association
Members 2,200
Country United States

The San Francisco Police Officers Association (SFPOA) is the largest police trade union representing the San Francisco Police Department, with around 2,200 members as of 2016.[1] It was founded in 1946[2] and by the late 1980s had around 1,750 members, amounting to the majority of San Francisco police officers.[3] As of 2016, its president is Martin Halloran.[4]

Advocacy history[edit]

On February 12, 2006, the head of the San Francisco Police Officers Association said that Mayor Gavin Newsom showed "a complete and total lack of respect for the rank and file" in his response to a San Francisco Chronicle series examining San Francisco officers' use of force.[5] In October 2006, the vice president of the San Francisco Police Officers Association, Kevin Martin, was issued a restraining order from Susan Leff, an attorney for San Francisco's police watchdog agency.[6] Both assemblywoman Fiona Ma and Mayor Gavin Newsom been endorsed by the San Francisco Police Officers Association in part due to their opposition to legislation that would increase Californians' access to police disciplinary records by rolling back a 2006 California Supreme Court ruling.[7]

In 2016, the SFPOA hired political communications expert Nathan Ballard for what was described as a "counterattack" against police reform attempts following the controversial killing of Mario Woods by officers and concerns about racism in the city's police department.[8][9][10] The union's campaign against reform proponent George Gascón was criticized for using exaggerated crime figures, and Ballard acknowledged having misread the rates.[8]

In the 2015/2016 debate about the introduction of body cameras for officers, the union achieved what acting SFPD chief Toney Chaplin described as a "huge concession", allowing an officer involved in a shooting to view the footage before giving a full report.[4] While civil rights activists opposed this policy as detrimental to the cameras' purpose of increasing accountability, SFPOA president Martin Halloran justified it on the grounds that officers' memory could be affected by stress in such situations and that not allowing them to check their recollection with the video recording would expose them to "gotcha" moments.[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Reform panel: SF police union's misinformation campaign continues". The San Francisco Examiner. Retrieved 2016-04-10. 
  2. ^ Eterovich, Adam S. (2000). Croatians in California, 1849-1999. Ragusan Press. p. 274. 
  3. ^ Waste, Robert J. (1989). The Ecology of City Policymaking. Oxford University Press. p. 43. 
  4. ^ a b c Ho, Vivian (2016-06-02). "SF Police Commission OKs body cameras". SFGate. Retrieved 2016-06-03. 
  5. ^ Bulwa, Demian (2006-02-13). "Police union president takes Newsom to task". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 2009-03-14. 
  6. ^ Sward, Susan (2006-10-18). "Restraining order issued for police union VP". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 2009-03-14. 
  7. ^ Sward, Susan (2007-07-27). "Police stifle bill on discipline hearings access". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 2009-03-14. 
  8. ^ a b Ho, Vivian (2016-03-24). "Amid push for S.F. police reform, union escalates counterattack". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 2016-04-10. 
  9. ^ San Francisco Examiner
  10. ^ San Francisco Examiner

External links[edit]