Capt. Rachel Moran (right) speaks in a video for International Women's Day 2020.

The San Francisco Police Department’s Mission Station will be getting a new captain on Saturday: Capt. Gaetano Caltagirone is moving to Richmond Station and he will be replaced by Capt. Rachel Moran, a 25-year veteran of the San Francisco Police Department. The SFPD confirmed these changes on Friday, and they will take place at the stroke of midnight tonight. 

Moran is the first woman to head up the station after a very long line of male captains spanning at least two decades. The SFPD could not immediately make Moran available for comment, but did say she joined the department in July 1995. 

The appointment of Moran comes amid a larger shakeup in which at least three other district stations — Tenderloin, Ingleside, and Central — will get new captains, according to an internal document obtained by Mission Local. 

There is little public information about Moran, although department records show she was a project manager working to implement several of the 272 Department of Justice reforms, including those aimed at anti-bias and auditing electronic communications. She was working within the Special Victims Unit before her promotion to Mission Station captain. 

In a video produced by the SFPD for International Women’s Day in March 2020, Moran said she comes from a family of firefighters. 

She added that “hard work” has benefited the police department and herself, “just showing a woman can do this job — can work in tough neighborhoods, can work next to the strongest of the strongest.” 

Meanwhile, Caltagirone will depart Mission Station after three-and-a-half years leading one of San Francisco’s busiest police districts. Police at Mission Station actually cover much of the Mission District, Noe Valley, and the Castro.

Captain Gaetano Caltagirone introduces himself to community members at Bissap Baobab on Tuesday, Nov. 21. Photo by Julian Mark

Upon taking the reins in October 2017, Caltagirone set out to strengthen community policing, overseeing an expansion of foot-beat officers and emphasizing overall old-school policing. He conducted affable community meetings with the casual air of a dad-cum-assistant high school sports coach. Engraved on his nightstick is the title “The Godfather,” purportedly a reference to his being a mentor to other officers. 

Caltagirone did not respond to a request for comment. 

Since his early days as captain, he also was a proponent of residents “taking back their blocks,” encouraging communication between neighbors and, somewhat controversially, encouraging them to set up surveillance cameras. 

After three-and-a-half years at Mission Station, it’s unclear why Caltagirone is moving out to a quieter district. For some, Mission Station has been a stepping stone to higher echelons of the SFPD, as evidenced by the ascendance of Robert Moser, now an assistant chief, and Daniel Perea, now a commander. 

The following officers were promoted to captain and will lead district stations starting Saturday:  Capt. Chris Canning will lead Tenderloin Station; Capt. Nicole Jones will lead Ingleside Station; and Capt. Julian Ng will lead Central Station. Changes at other stations may follow.

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Julian grew up in the East Bay and moved to San Francisco in 2014. Before joining Mission Local, he wrote for the East Bay Express, the SF Bay Guardian, and the San Francisco Business Times.

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  1. > “a proponent of residents ‘taking back their blocks,’ encouraging communication between neighbors and, somewhat controversially, encouraging them to set up surveillance cameras. ”

    Why is installing surveillance cameras on private property considered controversial?

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  2. Captain Caltagirone will be missed, by some of us. A kind approachable man.

    I am forever grateful for the attention he gave to the problems on my block.

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