The San Francisco Police Department enjoys a remarkable 72 percent approval rating, and many credit Police Chief Greg Suhr ’88.
A 32-year veteran of the police force, Suhr was sworn in as the city’s top cop in April 2011. He attributes the department’s high approval rating to his officers and their professionalism. That same year, homicides in San Francisco dropped by almost half and violent crime fell 6.5 percent, according to FBI data.
Suhr is the third USF graduate to serve as the city’s police chief in recent years. Heather Fong ’79 was chief from 2004 to 2009. Frank Jordan ’75 led the department from 1986 to 1990.
Suhr has made increasing efficiency a focus for the SFPD. He implemented the first department-wide email system and also established its first web-based records management system to better track cases. “It’s helping us solve crimes we might never have solved, but certainly wouldn’t have solved as quickly,” he said.
That said, how San Francisco’s young people see cops is the chief’s number one priority. This summer, the SFPD placed more than 130 high school students in jobs, giving them valuable on-the-job experience and helping them build self-esteem. The SFPD assigns officers to the city’s high schools and Boys and Girls Clubs, particularly in at-risk neighborhoods, to build relationships with teachers and students. “These efforts help change how kids view the police by seeing them every day as people they can talk to in their lives to keep them safe,” Suhr said.