From approving policy on body cameras to firing police officers found guilty of misconduct, Wednesday nights are reserved for scrutiny of police practices at the San Francisco Police Commission.
The seven-member civilian panel acts as the Police Department’s disciplinary body and officially meets once a week for a public hearing, usually at City Hall, to receive updates from department heads, set policy and decide on disciplinary actions against officers.
The commission is also tasked with overseeing the Office of Citizen Complaints, a separate city department that investigates officer misconduct reported by civilians
With tenures ranging from two to 12 years, four of the commission’s members are appointed by the mayor and three more are selected by the Board of Supervisors. Serving on the commission is a volunteer position, and members receive a monthly stipend of only $100 and the option of health benefits.
The commission has in the past been criticized for backlogs of disciplinary cases.
In its June report, the Blue Ribbon Panel on Accountability, Transparency, and Fairness found that the commission is grossly understaffed. In fact, just two people are on staff to assist the commission with administrative matters.
In recent months, members have been putting in overtime as the commission spearheads the search for the city’s next police chief.
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