Officials Launch An Audit Of Law Enforcement Hiring Practices

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The City of San Francisco will audit the hiring and evaluation processes involved in law enforcement bodies, with a particular eye for eliminating bias. Photo courtesy of Mark Boss.

SAN FRANCISCO—On Thursday, June 18, officials announced the launch of a three-month-long initiative that will audit the hiring processes for members of law enforcement in San Francisco.

The audit will be led by San Francisco’s Department of Human Resources, alongside the city’s Civil Service Commission, the Police Department, and the Sheriff’s Office.

The audit intends to investigate the entry-level exams and other mechanisms of testing candidates for law enforcement in order to ensure that these hiring processes are appointing those with, as it was put in a statement, “the requisite ethics, judgment, and temperament” to become a member of San Francisco’s law enforcement bodies.

While this audit takes place, several proceedings within San Francisco’s law enforcement sector will be put on pause.

The Police Sergeant examination will be postponed and the exams for entry-level police officers and sheriff positions will be suspended.

Beyond the hiring process, San Francisco officials will also be auditing the systems in place for job evaluations of law enforcement officers.

This audit will specifically be aimed to identify seeds of bias within the law enforcement departments.

Filtering out bias in San Francisco’s law enforcement has been an ongoing process with such projects as the “Bias-Free Policing Policy” and the Collaborative Reform Initiative, a general commission for monitoring and improving on the Police Department’s practices.

Regarding the audit, Director for the Department of Human Resources Micki Callahan said in a statement, “It is our responsibility as a City to use the tools we have available to identify candidates for law enforcement positions who would not be too quick to use force, who are patient and compassionate, or who would not be likely to let racial bias drive their attitudes and actions.”

So far in the audit, the Civil Service Commission has requested a “high-level report” regarding the city’s current steps to track and prevent bias in its law enforcement officers.