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Dominican School of Philosophy and Theology

2018 Alemany Awardee

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Greg Suhr

Retired Chief of Police, Greg Suhr

Greg Suhr is a native son (5th Generation) of our beloved City of San Francisco. He rose through the ranks over his nearly 35-year career through his exemplary leadership skills, and his ability to build trust in diverse communities to become the San Francisco Police Department's 42nd Chief of Police. During his time on the force he distinguished himself through his acts of compassion, service, and inclusivity; a testament to his respect for the office; and the residents and visitors of San Francisco. He firmly believes in the idea that the police exist to serve the needs of the public – those who live, work, visit and play in our beautiful city. That belief serves as the foundation for many of the changes Chief Suhr implemented during his tenure, beginning 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. Other changes involved aggressively pursuing best technologies available to make the Department more efficient and accountable, and focusing on caring, education, and employment for youth in underserved communities to keep them safe and in school; and out of the criminal justice system. Additionally, he was committed to re-engineering the way police officers use force so that only a minimum of force is ever used, if necessary – and never more. Working with community to foster partnership and build trust was at the root of his every endeavor.

Chief Suhr holds that his success can be attributed to always having caring adults around to provide guidance and support when he needed it. He believes that police officers have a unique opportunity to help children make the right choices as they grow up. It is with this in mind that the SFPD re-dedicated itself to the children of San Francisco. Committed to provide kids with positive opportunities (jobs) – a police officer's duties is to help children make the best decisions, both for their safety and to ensure every child has the same chance to shine as any other child.

Chief Suhr’s guiding philosophy is, “I can’t believe how fortunate I am to be in a position to help people. And I can’t believe how lucky I am to be a cop in the best Police Department in the best City in the world. I put my uniform on every day truly believing that there are kids out there that think cops are heroes; and I know I might be the first cop some child has ever seen. I owe that kid my best. Every cop does.”

Chief Suhr retired from the SFPD in May of 2016 after nearly 35 years of service.

He and his wife, Wendy, currently own and operate Suhr Consulting Group, LLC.

Education

BS | 1988 | University of San Francisco

  • Major: Business Administration – Applied Economics

Post Graduate Education

  • Federal Bureau of Investigation, National Executive Institute 37th Session, 2014
  • Harvard Kennedy School National Preparedness Learning Institute, 2011
  • University of Southern California, Executive Program in Counter-Terrorism, 2007

Awards and Achievements (Partial List)

  • 2016 Public Official of the Year, San Francisco’s Building Owners Management Association
  • 2016 Selected as participant in the White House’s “Police Data Initiative” 1st Annual Review
  • 2016 International Crime and Policing Conference, London UK; Keynote Speaker on “Impacts of Technology on Policing and Crime”
  • 2015 San Francisco Travel’s “Silver Cable Car” Award
  • 2015 Special Olympics Northern California, Inspiring Greatness Award
  • 2015 Pomeroy Center’s, Pomeroy Humanitarian Award
  • 2014 YMCA of Northern California, Community Ambassador Award
  • 2013 Partnered with Make-a-Wish Foundation to make “Batkid Day” happen in San Francisco
  • 2012 City Youth Now, Commitment and Dedication to Youth Award
  • 2012 1st Department in the Nation to produce/release “It Gets Better Video” against bullying
  • 2011 San Francisco Redevelopment Agency, Honors for Youth Service Award
  • 2010 San Francisco District Council of Merchants, Police Officer of the Year
  • 2010 Boys and Girls Clubs of America, National Service to Youth Award
  • Guest Lecturer at Boston University – “Senior Management Institute for Policing” June, 2016
  • Guest Lecturer at University of San Francisco, “Community Policing and Race” Summer, 2013
  • Guest Lecturer at Stanford University – “Counter Terrorism for Infrastructure” March, 2009

Charitable Activities and Associations (Partial List)

  • Board of Directors, Boys and Girls Clubs of San Francisco
  • Board of Directors, Bayview YMCA
  • Board of Directors, Little Sisters of the Poor
  • Founding member of UCSF Children’s Hospital–Police Officer’s Association Christmas visits to seriously ill children.  This program, begun with just a handful of officers, became the Annual SFPD / POA Christmas hospital visits program for children in hospitals in San Francisco for the holidays.
  • International Association of Chiefs of Police, Member
  • Major Cities Chiefs (of Police) Association, Member
  • California Police Chief’s Association, Member
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