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Chief Gascón Addresses Driver Accountability at Swearing-In Presser

4:05 PM PDT on August 7, 2009

Gascon.jpgSFPD Chief Gascón. Photo: Matthew Roth

At a press conference today immediately after Mayor Gavin Newsom swore in SFPD's new police Chief George Gascón, the city's top cop, responding to a question from Streetsblog, addressed a number of issues central to his command, including, notably, how driver behavior can endanger certain neighborhoods as much or more than violent crime.

Many times we're concentrating on homicides, and we should, but many communities will lose more people, and more property, and there's more damage and injuries through bad driving behavior, than of course through crime. If you look at my record when I was in Mesa, [Arizona] and at the LAPD, we put a lot of emphasis on driver behavior. It's important to do so because that's a part of public safety.

When asked whether he would segregate traffic statistics from Compstat, as some cities have done with their data collection, Gascón said he felt that traffic statistics would be part of Compstat, on similar footing with other crime statistics.

To me Compstat is all-encompassing. We're going to deal with traffic, we're going to deal with crime, we're going to deal with overtime usage, we're going to deal with sick time, all of that. It's an accountability process--we look at a command and we start analyzing, what are the pieces within the command that need to be fixed. Can we do it all at once, obviously not. There's no such thing as Trafficstat and Overtimestat. It's Compstat.

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