An upbeat assessment of San Francisco’s police department prepared for new Mayor Gavin Newsom dismisses many of what critics have identified as the force’s biggest flaws, reports the San Francisco Chronicle. The report says the main challenges are dealing with tight budgets and putting a computerized crime-mapping system in place.
The five-page report by Newsom’s transition team was written by a retired deputy police chief, who interviewed Police Chief Alex Fagan and reviewed unspecified other sources. It makes no mention of who should lead the 2,200-officer force and does not discuss problems the department faced last year, including an uproar over the investigation of Fagan’s son and two other officers accused of assaulting two men in November 2002.
Newsom has said will search nationally for a replacement for Fagan. The report, by retired Deputy Chief Diarmuid Philpott, does not touch on concerns raised by critics who persuaded city voters to approve Proposition H, which will make it easier for the independent Office of Citizen Complaints to pursue sanctions against officers accused of misconduct.
Malaika Parker of Bay Area PoliceWatch, a group that advocates on behalf of alleged police abuse victims, dismissed the document as a “bogus report….It’s like ignoring a big elephant in the room.”
Mark Schlosberg of the Northern California chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union noted that the transition team said nothing about reports from the city controller and a civil grand jury that found chronic problems with police discipline. “The report is disappointing,” he said. “The whole tone of the report doesn’t take into account the concerns about accountability that we have expressed in the last year and a half.”