The Commission on Police Practices:
- reviews and evaluates serious complaints brought by the public against officers of the Police Department of the City of San Diego
- reviews all officer involved shootings and in-custody deaths
- reviews and evaluates the administration of discipline arising from sustained complaints
Subsequent to the review and evaluation process, the Commission may choose to make policy and procedure recommendations to the Chief of Police.
The CPP’s Community Engagement Coordinator and Outreach Committee support the Commission’s outreach and education objective by participating in community events and giving presentations to various organizations. If you would like to have members of the CPP and/or the Community Engagement Coordinator participate in your event or give an educational presentation about the CPP and/or Complaint Process:
Community Engagement Coordinator
The purpose of the Commission on Police Practices is to review and evaluate complaints brought by members of the public against officers of the Police Department of the City of San Diego and to review and evaluate the administration of discipline arising from sustained complaints. The Commission also reviews and evaluates officer-involved shootings, all in-custody deaths, and all police actions that result in the death of a person.
After a controversial police shooting, the Mayor and City Council established and appointed citizens to a Citizens' Advisory Board to review the Police Department's Use of Force Policy. This board was designed to be temporary and expire after 12 months. The review process was a success and the board was made permanent.
At the recommendation of the Citizens' Advisory Board, the City Manager and Chief of Police appointed 15 community members to serve on the Civilian Advisory Panel on Police Practices. The purpose of this panel was to monitor the acceptance and investigation of complaints involving police officers and to ensure thoroughness, objectivity and just treatment of citizens and officers alike.
Propositions "F" and "G" were offered to the citizens of San Diego. "F" proposed a "Police Review Commission" and was viewed by the Civilian Advisory Panel as having a negative impact on the current system. "G" proposed a Citizens' Review Board on Police Practices (CRB) and was seen as most beneficial to the department and community. "G" gained the most support and won the public vote.
The new City Charter Amendment (Proposition G) gave the City Manager the exclusive authority to create and establish a Citizens' Review Board on Police Practices to review and evaluate citizens' complaints against police officers and the discipline arising from such complaints.
1988 – Passage of Proposition G
The Citizens’ Review Board on Police Practices (CRB) was established in November 1988 because of the passage of Proposition G to review and evaluate complaints brought by the public against the San Diego Police Department (SDPD). The CRB also reviewed officer-involved shooting (OIS) cases, in-custody death (ICD) cases, and the administration of discipline resulting from “sustained” complaints. Officer-involved shooting and in-custody death cases were investigated by the SDPD Homicide Unit, the District Attorney’s Office, and Internal Affairs before being reviewed by the CRB.
2016 – Passage of Measure G
In November 2016, Measure G was placed on the ballot and passed with an 82% vote. Measure G changed the name of the CRB from the Citizens’ Review Board on Police Practices to the Community Review Board on Police Practices so that it was inclusive of all San Diegans. Measure G also created a dual responsibility of the CRB to the Mayor and the City Council and codified the practice of the CRB’s review of in-custody deaths and officer-involved shootings to become a permanent practice of the CRB’s responsibility. The purpose of the CRB was to review and evaluate complaints made by members of the public regarding the conduct of officers of the City of San Diego Police Department (SDPD). The CRB also reviewed officer-involved shooting cases, in-custody death cases and the administration of discipline resulting from “sustained” complaints. Officer-involved shooting and in-custody death cases were investigated by the SDPD Homicide Unit, the District Attorney’s Office, and Internal Affairs (IA) before being reviewed by the CRB. The CRB also made policy and procedural recommendations to SDPD for consideration and was instrumental in many changes to SDPD’s policies and procedures
2020 – Passage of Measure B
On November 3, 2020, the voters of San Diego approved Measure B creating a new independent Commission on Police Practices (CPP) that replaced the Community Review Board on Police Practices (CRB). Per the City Charter amendment, the members of the CRB at the time of its dissolution became the initial CPP members. Before new Commissioners can be appointed by the City Council, the Council must adopt an implementation ordinance specifying the number of Commissioners, term length, qualifications, and selection process. On January 26, 2021, the Commission approved its interim bylaws which the permanent Commission would replace with permanent bylaws within ninety (90) days after the new Commissioners have been appointed.
The purpose of the Commission on Police Practices is to provide an independent investigation of officer-involved shootings and in-custody deaths, and an unbiased evaluation of all complaints against the San Diego Police Department and its personnel, in a process that will be transparent and accountable to the community. The Commission will also evaluate and review SDPD policies, practices, training, and protocols and represent the community in making recommendations for changes. The mission of the Commission is to hold law enforcement accountable to the community and to increase community trust in law enforcement, resulting in increased safety for both the community and law enforcement.
Commissioners are appointed by the Council. The Commission is staffed by an executive director, who is appointed by the Council; investigators and other City employees or contractors, who are independent of the Police Department and the Mayor; and legal counsel, independent of the City Attorney.
Currently, the Commission is in a transition phase as it awaits the approval of the implementation ordinance. Until the implementation ordinance process is complete, the Commission will only review cases that allege force, arrest, criminal conduct, discrimination, slurs, search and seizure, and detention that are investigated by SDPD’s Internal Affairs Unit and auditing cases that allege violations of courtesy, procedure, service or conduct policies and/or procedures.