In response to requests from city officials who asked the U.S. Department of Justice to conduct an in-depth review of the policies and practices of the San Francisco Police Department (SFPD), the COPS Office launched the Collaborative Reform Initiative for Technical Assistance (CRI-TA) with the SFPD. The COPS Office supports law enforcement agencies by implementing and sustaining reforms that increase public trust through improvements in community policing practices, transparency, professionalism, and accountability while taking into account national standards, promising practices, current and emerging research, and community expectations. Although the COPS Office found a department that is committed to making changes and working with the community, it also found a department with outdated use of force policies that fail the officers and the community and inadequate data collection that prevents leadership from understanding officer activities and ensure organizational accountability. The department lacked accountability measures to ensure that the department is being open and transparent while holding officers accountable. Disparities were found in traffic stops, post-stop searches, and use of deadly force against minorities. Altogether, the COPS Office identified 94 findings and developed 272 associated recommendations. This report is a road map to reform policing in San Francisco to conform to community expectations and improve public safety. This report summarizes the full assessment including findings and recommendations that will help the department modernize its policing practices and enhance community trust.
Public comment is being accepted on this Justice Department report.