A former Police Officers Association head, Gary Delagne recently raised a storm when he swore an affidavit claiming that the police union that he headed was a major impediment to reforms. The allegations were made during a hearing by a task force set up to investigate accusations that the department is riddled with bigotry and homophobia. The investigation team was formed by George Gascon, San Francisco’s District Attorney, and a former police chief.
Delagne himself is a distinguished career policeman having served in the force for over two decades. The last nine years of his service coincided with his presidency of the police union. During his long and successful career in the police department, Gary created a name for himself for being an outspoken defender of fellow officers. Gascon appeared before the taskforce eight days before Delagnes. He attested to the fact that the union has a major influence on the police chief. However, this influence is not beneficial in any way.
Back in 2010, the duo had dinner with the current president of the union, Martin Halloran and a union rep in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The foursome was part of an educative governance forum for police union heads. This was the brainchild of Harvard Law School. Allegedly, alcohol got the better of Gascon who started reminiscing about his service with the police department in Los Angeles. He apparently disparaged minority communities to the extent that an African American patron complained.
Halloran has come to the support of the assertions. Interestingly, both won’t give particulars about the entire incident. A spokesperson of the District Attorney’s office, Alex Bastian failed to respond to the allegations as spelt out in the affidavit. According to him, the document lacks credibility. Delagne claims that he came out after reading in the press that Gascon testified to the panel that the Police Department is worse than it was between 2009 and 2011.
The two have had a healthy working relationship for long and had dinner severally and coffee meetings on Tuesdays. The former POA president was even invited to the district attorney’s wedding. These meetings were mainly used to chart the way forward on issues revolving around the discipline of the officers.
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