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Commission on Police Practices


  • As a result of the Board's first annual report, an office was opened at the City Administration Building for the reception of citizen complaints. The office was publicized to promote community awareness that complaints could be filed in a location away from the Police Department. In addition the Board has trained 23 community-based agencies to receive citizen complaints in order to make the complaint process as simple and accessible as possible to the public.
  • In the same report, questions were raised about the use of flashlights as impact weapons and the possibility of purchasing smaller, less cumbersome flashlights. The Department re-examined the lights and responded with refresher training, but the lights were determined to be appropriate.
  • The Board requested more thorough documentation by Internal Affairs Investigators of their efforts to contact citizens in "Complainant Non-Cooperative" cases. The investigators are instructed to ensure that every possible means is used to try to locate the complainant with appropriate documentation placed in the file to support that effort, including use of certified mail and visits to residences.
  • Annual Report Statistics are now compiled by the Board rather than by the Complaint Enhancement Detective who formerly kept such records.
  • A "False Complaint" disposition was initiated by the Police Department. The Review Board had concerns that this finding would have a "chilling effect" on the reporting of complaints by citizens. Internal Affairs consulted with the Police Officers' Association and the disposition was eliminated.
  • The Board recommended that Statistical Reports maintained and/or generated regarding complaints and dispositions be made public. The Department cleared the legal hurdles and implemented the request.
  • At the recommendation of the Board, conclusion letters sent to complainants now include more detail about the specific allegations and definitions of conclusions.
  • At the recommendation of the Board, CRB pamphlets are now sent to complainants with the initial information letter from Internal Affairs.
  • Internal Affairs now includes the following statement in its letter of findings to complainants: "Additionally, your complaint has been reviewed by the Citizens' Review Board on Police Practices."
  • The Case Reporting Form has been modified to include a space for indicating changes to Internal Affairs Findings based on input and discussion with Review Teams.
  • The Internal Affairs Liaison to the Board will now make monthly rather than yearly reports to the Board on the Department's Early Warning system.
  • The SDPD is placing digital cameras in all patrol units (as budget allows) and has promulgated an updated order ( OR # 05 06) concerning use, preservation, copying and other details regarding cameras and photographs.