SAN FRANCISCO—The San Francisco Police Department has reported a drop in the number of use of force incidents. The SFPD reported that Use of Force incidents dropped nearly 11 percent within the first 6 months of the year with key reforms implemented.
According to a press release from the SFPD, the one-year anniversary of the release of U.S. Department of Justice Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) Office assessment, highlighted accomplishments from the SFPD that include a decrease in use of force incidents, increased collaboration with community stakeholders and the completion or submission for approval of 49 percent of the DOJ recommendations.
“The Department of Justice report provided us with a road map to becoming the leading law enforcement agency in the nation,” said San Francisco Police Chief William Scott. “Since then, we have made significant progress with reform, particularly in the areas of increasing transparency and accountability to the communities we proudly serve. As we move forward, the men and women of the SFPD will continue the diligent work of transforming and improving our Department under the tenets of 21st Century Policing.”
The SFPD implemented and enhanced existing policies that emphasize the safeguarding of human life and dignity, de-escalation techniques and Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) training to respond to individuals experiencing mental or behavioral health crises. The Department has also seen diversity in leadership in the ranks nearly tripling the number of women in leadership positions and nearly doubling the number of minorities in leadership positions (captain rank and above).
As part of its COPS review, the DOJ identified 272 measures to improve operations at SFPD and strengthen the trust between the community and law enforcement. The assessment showed one of the largest undertakings by the COPS Office, focusing on Use of Force, Bias, Community Policing, Accountability and Recruitment, Hiring and Personnel Practices. Of the 272 recommendations, 49 percent were either completed or are in the approval process.
Other key accomplishments include:
-Complaints to the Department of Police Accountability declined 8.6% in 2017 compared to the first six months of 2016
-Sworn officers undergo more than 56 hours of training on Use of Force with CIT De-escalation, Managing Implicit Biases, Principled Policing and Creating An Inclusive Environment
-Emails and texts on Department-issued devices are automatically audited for language indicating potential bias; there were no confirmed instances of bias in the first six months of 2017
-Use of Force reports are published on a quarterly basis
-Officer encounters with the public are now recorded with the Department’s eStops app and reported on a quarterly basis
-Community Engagement Division restructured to provide a strategic and department-wide platform to enhance SFPD’s community policing and outreach efforts
-The Department relaunched the Community Police Academy to provide citizens with opportunities to learn about how officers operate and interact with the community
“The Department and the Commission’s embrace of the reform recommendations is manifested by the accomplishments we have achieved over the last year,” said San Francisco Police Commission President Julius Turman. “But the accomplishments also demonstrate that there is more work to be done to meet and surpass the expectations of the community we all serve.”
In September, the COPS Office revealed significant changes to the Collaborative Reform Initiative that limits the scope of technical assistance available to law enforcement agencies. The San Francisco Police Department remains committed to the reform process and will continue to work with community stakeholders, SF Mayor Edwin M. Lee, the San Francisco Police Commission, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors and other city leaders to implement all 272 of the DOJ recommendations.
To find more information about SFPD’s transparency and reform efforts visit www.sanfranciscopolice.org/transparency.