PRO & CONS – Prop G – November 8, 2016

 

PROPOSITION G- DEPARTMENT OF POLICE OVERSIGHT

Charter Amendment

Passed by Board of Supervisors 11-0.

Requires a simple majority vote for passage

THE QUESTION:

Shall the City amend the Charter to rename the Office of Citizen Complaints (OCC) department as the Department of Police Accountability (DPA), give DPA direct authority over its proposed budget and require DPA to conduct a performance analysis every two years to show how the Police Department has handled claims of officer misconduct and use of force?

BACKGROUND:

In June 2016, voters passed Proposition D requiring that the Office of Citizen Complaints (OCC) investigate all officer related shootings. The OCC is a separate department under the Police Commission that investigates complaints of misconduct and neglect of duty by police officers, and may, in certain circumstances, file disciplinary charges against the officers.

Currently under the City Charter, individual departments propose budgets, which are then submitted to the Mayor and the Board of Supervisors. The OCC’s budget is part of the budget for the Police Department as a whole and is reviewed and approved by the Police Commission.

THE PROPOSAL:

Proposition G would rename the OCC the Department of Police Accountability (DPA) and allow it to submit an independent budget for shooting related investigations. Passage of Proposition G would provide that the DPA budget would be prepared and submitted separately from the SFPD budget, and would not need Police Commission approval. The Mayor and Board of Supervisors could change the budget before adoption.

This measure would also require the DPA to conduct a performance analysis every two years of the Police Department in order to determine how they are handling claims of officer misconduct and use of force. All City departments, officers and employees would be required to provide the following types of records to the DPA for this analysis:

  • records regarding SFPD policies or practices;
  • personnel and disciplinary records;
  • criminal investigative and prosecution files; and
  • other records to which the Police Commission has access.

A “YES” Vote Means: If you vote “yes,” you want to amend the Charter to rename the Office of Citizen Complaints as the Department of Police Accountability (DPA), allow the DPA to submit a budget independent from the SF Police Department, and require the DPA to review the San Francisco Police Department’s use-of-force policies and its handling of claims of police misconduct every two years.

A “NO” Vote Means: If you vote “no,” you do not want to make these changes to the OCC.

ARGUMENTS IN FAVOR PROP G:

  • Removes a conflict of interest by allowing DPA to submit its budget directly to the Mayor without approval from the SFPD.
  • Gives DPA independent authority to perform regular and discretionary auditing of SFPD’s use-of-force, officer misconduct, policies and procedures and creates greater transparency by allowing the public to track claims of misconduct and complaints.

ARGUMENTS AGAINST PROP G:

  • Proposition G adds another layer of expense and bureaucracy.
  • This measure would create additional of levels of reporting.

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