SAN FRANCISCO—It has been announced that the U.S. Department of Justice Community Oriented Policing Services Office are making significant changes to the Collaborative Reform Initiative. New changes will reduce the scope of technical assistance available to law enforcement agencies. According to a press release from the San Francisco Police Department, they will continue to utilize all of the DOJ-CRI’s 272 recommendations provided in late 2016.
“Our work is not done,” said San Francisco Police Chief William Scott. “We are committed to the principles of 21st Century Policing and the men and women of the SFPD are determined to strengthen trust between law enforcement officers and the communities we serve. The Department of Justice process provided our department with a blueprint that will enable us to become a model law enforcement agency. We are more determined than ever to see this crucial work fulfilled.”
The DOJ implemented the review for the city of San Francisco after subsequently identified 272 reform measures to improve operations at the Police Department. The assessment of the SFPD was the biggest undertaken by the COPS Office and is more in-depth and specific than any of its peer cities in the collaborative review process. It has provided the SFPD with a roadmap to becoming a leader in increasing transparency, accountability and trust between law enforcement and the public.
The SFPD has made major progress in implementing reforms since the DOJ report was issued in October 2016. Forty-five percent of the report’s 272 recommendations are complete, in the approval process or under review as of August 31, 2017.
Some reforms include the revision of the Police Department’s use of force policy, the implementation of new investigative procedures for officer involved shootings and ongoing audits of department-issued cell phones and email accounts for potential bias.
“We welcomed the DOJ’s guidance on improving the SFPD’s processes and procedures, and we embraced it as an opportunity to rebuild greater trust between the community and the police department,” said Police Commission President Julius Turman.
“As a former DOJ attorney, I appreciate that they have many priorities and the Commission is grateful for the DOJ’s time, resources and commitment. However, we remain firm in our commitment to the people of the City and County of San Francisco and the women, men and people of this police department. While we wait to hear further details of the DOJ’s proposed changes, we will stay the course of reform and honor the promise to the people of San Francisco, and the department that keeps it safe.”
The SFPD remains driven to the reform process and is expected to continue to work with community stakeholders, Mayor Edwin M. Lee, the San Francisco Police Commission, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors and other city leaders to follow through with the DOJ recommendations.
To obtain information about the department’s transparency and reform efforts, visit www.sanfranciscopolice.org/transparency.