On occasion, when there are deserving candidates, BOMA San Francisco selects someone in government to be recognized as our Public Official of the Year. We’ve presented this award to elected officials, and sometimes we have recognized City Department heads or administrative personnel. Recommendations for award recipients typically emanate through BOMA’s Governmental Affairs Policy Advisory Committee, or via our Political Action Committee.
This year we have chosen to recognize two individuals as BOMA’s 2015 Public Officials of the Year: San Francisco Police Department Chief, Greg Suhr and San Francisco Fire Department Chief, Joanne Hayes-White.
Of the many things that are important to our membership, public safety is at the top. The San Francisco Fire Department and Police Department are the two city agencies that have that responsibility and have been doing a splendid job at it. Indeed, the two Departments work well when they have talented leadership. Both have exhibited leadership, resourcefulness, and collaboration with our commercial real estate industry and we are grateful for it.
About Chief Greg Suhr
Greg Suhr is a 33-year veteran of the San Francisco Police Department who was selected as San Francisco’s 42nd Chief of Police on April 27, 2011. He firmly believes in the idea that the Police Department exists to serve the needs of our customers – those who live, work, visit and play in our beautiful city. That belief serves as the foundation for many of the changes Chief Suhr has implemented during his tenure, which began with allowing any member of the public access to the Chief’s Office. It is not enough to talk about being open and accessible, public officials must actually be open and accessible.
Chief Suhr was born and raised in this great city and feels that his success can be attributed to having caring adults around to provide guidance and support when he needed it. He believes that peace officers have a unique opportunity to help children growing up make good choices. The SFPD is dedicated to working closely with organizations that provide our children with positive opportunities – and that encourage young people to get an education, at least finishing high school. It is every officer’s duty to be there for children, both for their safety and for their future success.
About Chief Joanne Hayes-White
Joanne Hayes-White was sworn in by Mayor Newsom as the 25th Chief of the San Francisco Fire Department on January 16, 2004. San Francisco is the largest urban fire department in the world with a female chief. Chief Hayes-White oversees a department of approximately 1,500 members and an operating budget of $350 Million.
Hayes-White, a San Francisco native, came to the Department after graduating from the University of Santa Clara with a degree in business. She was hired as a firefighter in April 1990, promoted to the rank of Lieutenant in 1993 and to the rank of Captain in January 1996. In May 1996 she was made acting Battalion Chief with oversight of the Department's dispatch and communications systems. She oversaw the installation of the Computer-Aided Dispatch (CAD) system and automated information systems and by doing so, streamlined and improved the Department's dispatch and records management capabilities.