Massachusetts Cop Forum banner
1 - 1 of 1 Posts

·
MassCops Angel
Joined
·
121,497 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
By Seth Rosenfeld, Susan Sward
San Francisco Chronicle

SAN FRANCISCO - A comprehensive study commissioned by city officials has recommended what would be sweeping reforms in the San Francisco Police Department.
The long-awaited draft report, made public late Thursday, makes wide-ranging recommendations that if enacted would change how the police chief is appointed, how district stations are staffed and how the investigations unit operates.
The unprecedented 313-page study is intended to modernize the department and would address a range of long-term problems, such as low clearance rates of criminal cases, troubled community relations, and excessive use of force by officers.
The stated goal of the report is to enhance and integrate community policing and improve problem-solving and data analysis to better fight crime and "improve quality of life."
The report recommended "reorganizing staff" in the chief's office, the field operations bureau and the district stations, according to a statement released by the city.
Among the other key recommendations are:
-- Make the chief's position a five-year contract position "to allow the department to take on significant reform and provide consistent leadership." Currently, the chief is appointed by the mayor.
-- Staff district stations based on the percentage of their officers' time consumed by calls for service, which would allow staffing based on service need.
-- Realign the investigations bureau "to increase expertise and improve clearance rates," or the solving of crimes and closing of cases.
-- "Civilianize" the forensic services division, using civilians as crime-scene investigators, a job that today is done by sworn officers.
-- Allow officers to use stun guns when "hands-on" control of a suspect is needed and "an officer might otherwise need to use a lethal weapon."
-- Create an office of officer-involved shootings to address officers' use of firearms.
Mayor Gavin Newsom said he "welcomes reform that will improve our Police Department. Some of the recommendations in the draft report are already being implemented."
Police Chief Heather Fong said: "In the time I have been in the department, there has never been such a review. This comprehensive draft provides us with a master plan for the future. It will bring more efficiency and will bring the department into the 21st century."
The report was conducted by the Police Executive Research Forum PERF, a well-respected, independent nonprofit professional organization of police executives in Washington, D.C. The study was requested by city officials including Newsom, Fong, the controller's office and members of the Police Commission.
The city contracted with PERF to conduct the review in mid-2007, after a series of articles in The Chronicle documenting problems with the department's clearance rate and its use of force.
PERF spent a year preparing the study, researching the department's operations and conducting more than 100 interviews with members of the department, the community and experts.
This initial research resulted in a vision statement adopted by the Police Commission, with four major themes: expanding community policing and relations to improve the quality of life; ensuring accountability and transparency; creating a workforce that reflects the city and its values; and building leadership and professionalism within the department.
The city is now considering the recommendations.
As part of this process, the city will hold two 90-minute public workshops on the draft report. The first will be on Tuesday at UCSF's Parnassus campus, and the second on Wednesday at Visitacion Valley Middle School. Each will start at 6 p.m.
City officials stated that "feedback from the public on all aspects of the report is strongly desired."

Wire Service
 
1 - 1 of 1 Posts
Top