Friday, December 18, 2015

Mission Arson Claims Debated at Fire Commission

At yesterday's San Francisco fire commission meeting, there was a lengthy debate about allegations of arson blazes in the past year or in the Mission District.

Since the commission's agenda is always vague about exactly what Fire Chief Joanne Hayes-White and her deputies will say during their verbal reports, there was no way anyone reading the December 17 agenda would know that arson was to be debated. All the agenda said was various division would present reports.

Deputy marshal Daniel DeCossio shared arson and investigation stats and commissioners questioned him about Mission community concerns, fire prevention and formally calendaring the matter for a commission meeting early in the new year.

I was there to request the commission investigate deputy Mark Gonzales' email to me regarding this video. I believe public safety hazard was created by this errant fire fighter and foolishly thought the SFFD would conduct a transparent probe. Not so. Gonzales wrote:

"With regard to the issue you raised related to a San Francisco Fire Department vehicle blocking the bus stop on Van Ness at Market,  I directed my staff to conduct an investigation into your concerns. We take safety-related issues very seriously. This matter was investigated by the Department and appropriate action was taken. Again, thank you for bringing this matter to our attention."

How convenient of the fire department to investigate itself, not contact the complainant for more detail, withholding the name of the SFFD deputy behind the wheel and what supposed action was taken! 

The City needs to discuss establishing an Office of Civilian Complaints to oversee the bad behaviors of fire fighters and deputies, but unlike the police OCC we need to guarantee an SFFD version is fully transparent with names and actions released to the public.

Anyone know why David Campos and no one from his office was at the commission, monitoring the debate? Here's an excerpt from last night's meeting regarding fires in the Mission:

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