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Commission on Police Practices

Case Review/Interview

  • The Board, believing that officers' complaint histories should, in some cases, be reviewed, asked to have prior, similar, "Not Sustained" findings made available to Review Teams after they review the current case.
  • At the request of the Board, information regarding prior discipline of an officer is provided to the Review Team when the current complaint contains "Sustained" findings. Additionally, if the current complaint contained "Not Sustained" findings, the Board asked to be able to see prior similar "Not Sustained" cases and, if deemed necessary, have the prior case(s) reopened.
  • At the Board's request, a system for "flagging" cases which it feels to be particularly serious was implemented in order to assure appropriate action on the part of the Department.
  • The Board recommended direct, but not leading, questions be asked during interviews with officers. The resulting changes created higher quality and more complete interrogations where the "hard questions" were always asked.
  • The Review Board requested that Complainant Non-Cooperative cases be investigated as thoroughly as possible even if the original complainant refused to be interviewed. This has been implemented and conclusions are being reached in many cases.
  • At the recommendation of the Board, complainants are now allowed to have an uninvolved support person present during Internal Affairs interviews.
  • Disagreements between Internal Affairs findings and Review Team evaluations may now be discussed between Internal Affairs command and investigators and Review Team Members. In some cases findings may be modified in order to resolve the disagreements.
  • In order to facilitate the Board's responsibility to "Review and comment on the administration of discipline" the Police Department will now inform Review Team Leaders about discipline imposed and relevant background information prior to Board Meetings. Review Team Leaders will re-review the case, report the discipline and recommend agreement or disagreement with comment to the full Board.
  • In order to accommodate the schedules of the members, Internal Affairs has agreed to staff its offices on one Saturday each month for Case Review and Evaluation.
  • At the request of the Board, the San Diego Police Department has extended the hours available to members for case review. Members may now accomplish their work at the Professional Standards Unit before and after regular business hours as well as one Saturday per month.