A comprehensive study commissioned by city officials has recommended sweeping reforms in the San Francisco Police Department, reports the San Francisco Chronicle. The long-awaited draft report 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 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 report’s goal to enhance and integrate community policing and improve problem-solving and data analysis to better fight crime and “improve quality of life.” Among key recommendations: make the chief’s position a five-year contract position “to allow the department to take on significant reform and provide consistent leadership,” staff district stations based on the percentage of their officers’ time consumed by calls for service, which would allow staffing based on service need, and realign the investigations bureau “to increase expertise and improve clearance rates,” or the solving of crimes and closing of cases. Police Chief Heather Fong said the report could “bring more efficiency and will bring the department into the 21st century.” It was compiled by the Washington, D.C.-based Police Executive Research Forum.