SAN FRANCISCO – The Department of Justice, Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS Office) today released its initial assessment of the San Francisco Police Department (SFPD) as part of its collaborative review process.
In response to community outcry after several officer-involved shootings and other high-profile incidents, Mayor Ed Lee and former Police Chief Greg Suhr requested assistance from the Justice Department to conduct a thorough review of the police department’s policies and practices.
“I applaud the City of San Francisco for stepping forward to take a critical look at the policies and practices within the San Francisco Police Department,” said COPS Office Director Ronald Davis. “This report makes clear the significant challenges that lie ahead for the police department and the city. More than 90 findings outlined in the report reflect key operational deficiencies in the police department. However, the more than 270 recommendations described in the report provide an opportunity for the police department to address these deficiencies and advance the police department to meet the best practices of 21st century policing.”
The deficiencies identified range from outdated use of force policies to inadequate data collection and lack of accountability measures. The assessment team identified disparities in traffic stops, post-stop searches, and use of deadly force against African Americans. In addition, there are numerous indicators of implicit and institutionalized bias against minority groups.
To address these and other issues, the report prescribes 272 recommendations to help the department improve its policies and practices, build community trust and implement industry best practices.
The COPS Office will work with the San Francisco Police Department over the next 18 months to help them implement these recommendations and will provide two progress reports.
The report, An Assessment of the San Francisco Police Department, can be found on the COPS Office website at: http://ric-zai-inc.com/ric.php?page=detail&id=COPS-W0817. A condensed version of the report (Executive Summary and Findings/Recommendations) can be found online at: http://ric-zai-inc.com/ric.php?page=detail&id=COPS-W0818.
Spanish and Cantonese versions of the Executive Summary and Findings/ Recommendations will be available in the upcoming weeks.
Additionally, full copies of the report will be available at branches of the San Francisco Public Library.
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For the next 30 days, the COPS Office will be accepting comments regarding the report. Community members may submit comments to SanFrancisco.CRITA@usdoj.gov.
The assessment was administered as part of the COPS Office’s Collaborative Reform Initiative for Technical Assistance, designed to provide technical assistance to agencies facing significant law enforcement-related issues. Using subject matter experts, interviews and direct observations, as well as conducting extensive research and analysis, the COPS Office assists law enforcement agencies with enhancing and improving their policies and procedures, their operating systems and their professional culture. The COPS Office can issue a series of recommendations and be instrumental in assisting agencies with the implementation of those recommendations.
The COPS Office is a federal agency responsible for advancing community policing nationwide. Since 1995, the COPS Office has invested more than $14 billion to advance community policing, including grants awarded to more than 13,000 state, local and tribal law enforcement agencies to fund the hiring and redeployment of approximately 129,000 officers and provide a variety of knowledge resource products including publications, training and technical assistance. For additional information about the COPS Office, please visit www.cops.usdoj.gov.