Chief Ed Flynn asks for extension on deadline to change police department pursuit policy
Chief Ed Flynn says he will not be able to meet a July 27th deadline to alter the police department's pursuit policy.
"We've done some preliminary work on it," Chief Flynn told CBS 58 News Wednesday. "I requested an extension so we could have some thoughtful conversations."
Chief Flynn says he's received indications that the chairman of the Fire and Police Commission will recommend the delay.
"I am their subject matter expert," Flynn added. "No matter what their temporary opinion of me is."
It's a reference to the criticism the Chief took during a meeting while he was on vacation.
For an extended version of the chief's interview click here
Not only did the FPC issue a directive to change the policy or else he could face disciplinary action, there were also allegations that he had unethically changed policy when it came to how officers work with immigration.
The Chief maintains the policy is one that was in place before he took office. Officers are not to enforce immigration laws but report violent felons in six criteria that they encounter to federal agents if there's a documentation issue.
He says everybody in power knew it.
"There were meetings held with the City Attorney's office, Executive Director of the Fire and Police Commission on how to devise this policy. At all those meetings, the FPC director communicated that it was fine with her. They would accept it because they saw no changes. We're not doing immigration enforcement. That's how we left it."
Then while he was away demonstrations broke out with what the chief calls "wild accusations" about secret changes in policy.
"It became political. So there were political conversations to placate the advocacy community. While I'm on vacation, I'm on the phone with the mayor saying 'okay make the changes. It's your call.' I'm not feeling animosity. What I'm feeling is frustration that my actions have been misrepresented. The only way I can set the record straight is publicly, because nobody will talk to me."
Chief Flynn says he hardly considers this the worst time as head of the department.
He says someone always seems upset with him at one point or another.
"It comes with the job," he told CBS 58's Michele McCormack. "I wouldn't say it was the worst time. Last August was among the worst because we had a riot in our city. I've been to too many crime scenes and dead children to say it's the worst. It's a frustrating time. It's built of some significant misunderstandings that are hardening into fact and I've got to reel that back in."