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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, April 9, 2021
SAN DIEGO – Delivering on his promise to put forward sensible and equitable changes to police practices in the City of San Diego, Mayor Todd Gloria today announced a package of policy priorities and procedure reforms aimed at addressing disparities in policing through increased accountability to the community, transparency in decision-making and a commitment to explore solutions to complex issues.
“It’s time for the City to take a hard look at and update its police practices for modern times,” said Mayor Todd Gloria. “Every San Diegan should feel safe in our city and have trust in our police department. I believe these common sense changes and the intentional conversations we will have as part of this package will help do that and ultimately foster a more equitable police service, do away with antiquated police practices and create a safer city for all of us.”
- Appropriately funding, and faithfully implementing, the independent Commission on Police Practices
- Eliminating existing civil gang injunctions
- Implementing controls for the procurement and use of military-grade weapons
- Strengthening additional "unconscious" or "implicit bias" training for all officers
- Reviewing police hiring practices to ensure we attract the best candidates
- Adopting and implementing the Surveillance and Privacy Advisory Board ordinances
- Remove the Office of Homeland Security as a program of the San Diego Police Department
- Exploring policies that would limit the use of pretextual stops and consent searches
- Exploring alternatives to arrest for low-level offenses with nonpolice responses
- Exploring options that would limit the use of tear gas and other specialty munitions
- Review of the types and categories of calls dispatched to the San Diego Police Department
"For years, my office has been leading the charge to amplify the voice of our region's racial and social justice advocates, as we've worked to implement policy changes that will reimagine public safety in San Diego," said Councilmember Monica Montgomery Steppe, chair of the Committee on Public Safety and Livable Neighborhoods. "I look forward to working through the details of each reform listed here today, to ensure that we are getting to the root of racial profiling and disparate treatment in our communities of concern, as we continue our fight to create a public safety equity ecosystem in our region."
“Over the past year, the San Diego Police Department has implemented several changes to improve our policies and procedures. It’s our duty to build trust with all members of our community so that they can feel safe and treated equally when interacting with our officers,” said Police Chief David Nisleit. “SDPD will continue to invest in resources, provide additional training and refine our policies to ensure that our officers have the tools they need to keep themselves and the public safe while addressing crime.”
"Building trust between the public and law enforcement leads to safer communities for everyone," San Diego City Attorney Mara W. Elliott said. "Every person who encounters the criminal justice system must be treated fairly and with dignity and respect. In Mayor Gloria, my office has a strong supporter for the diversion programs we've designed to encourage a fresh start and a clean slate. There is more work to do, and it is exciting to have a partner who will be a leader in advancing meaningful criminal justice reform."
Two reports in the last five years have shown disparities between how Black people in San Diego were policed compared to their white peers.
With input from community groups and SDPD, the proposed changes aim to create and maintain trusting relationships through setting clear expectations and demanding strict accountability. It is part of Mayor Gloria’s State of the City pledge to work with SDPD to continually evaluate and update the department’s policies to ensure they reflect community values and align with state laws.