Molinari, Jim: Incidents in 1970s


Jim Molinari: On the recall, I got assigned to George and his family and kinda went along with him that night and kinda provided some security; not for any threats against him, it was more for crowd control if anything else. But we hit it off instantly. I had gone to Sacred Heart, he went to SI (St. Ignatius), we had this kind of rivalry, we both loved basketball. By the end of the night he said, “You know, I’ve been thinking of putting another police officer on the staff. If you want the job, you got it.” So that’s how I ended up working with him, and that was like October of 1977. Keep in mind I was totally happy doing what I was doing. I had my own city car, I was a detective, we were out in Treasure Island, had our own office, worked on this anti-terrorism stuff, involved in the Patty Hearst case, and the Weather Underground, all this radical stuff that was going on at that time. It was not only we have this labor stuff going in the city, but we also had a crime-spree that rivaled Northern Ireland in terms of bombings at the time. So there was a whole bunch of stuff going on so I was pretty happy doing what I was doing. Everybody leaves me alone, no one knows who I am; it’s all cool. But then at the same time, Moscone had appointed Charles Gain as an outsider to be the police chief, and there was a lot of animosity in the department over that decision because there were a lot of people who felt “Wait a minute, Moscone is a native here. He should know better. We don’t need an outsider. We can’t find somebody in our own community who can do this?” So there was a guy in the department who went to grammar school and high school with George. His name was Ray Canepa. Well respected commander in the police and a friend of mine so I went to him. I said, “Ray, the mayor’s offering me this position. I’m pretty happy where I am. What do you think I oughta do?” He said, “You need to go. You’re a real policeman. There have never been a real policeman up there. You need to go and do this, not only for you, but you need to do it for the department.” That’s how I ended up working with him, and George and I became fast friends. He was a terrific guy. I had a great time with him, a great time with his family. It was a wonderful time for me, quite frankly.


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The Moscone oral history interviews are part of the George Moscone Collection, MSS 328.

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Holt-Atherton Special Collections and Archives, University of the Pacific Library

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