Kronenberg, Anne: Police consent decree


Anne Kronenberg: In the late 1970’s in San Francisco there was a consent decree around the police department because the police were not hiring women or people of color. The police force at that time were mostly White Irish “Good ‘ol Boys”. That’s probably not that dissimilar to other police forces around the country at that time, but there was a legal challenge and so the court stepped in, and we had this consent decree that said that we had to bring in people of color. And Harvey used that also as an opportunity to say you have to bring in lesbian and gay police officers. Right in the late 70’s, I was on one of the oral boards for the police department interviewing people. It was a really interesting dynamic because the tests were written in a different than to be fair, to be more open so that people of color and different backgrounds couldn’t actually make it through the process and become police officers. There was so much resentment on the force. There was so much that now you have people coming in who are not like us, and there had been this old culture there. At the same time, Mayor Moscone had hired a new police chief, Charlie Gain, who was very progressive himself, who was hated by the rank and file, who did something that was so abhorrent to them. He decided that he wanted a softer image for the police department, so all our police cars went from black and white to powder blue and white which I can still remember Harvey laughing about it; he thought it was just the best thing, and we all that it was just great, but the cops did not like that. So there was a lot of tension and internal turmoil going on, and it took literally decades to move through that – I don’t know if we’re through it now. But ya know if you look at the police force now, it really reflects the city. And at that point the police force did not reflect the city. It just reflected one tiny portion of the city.


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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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