San Diego police chief to present progress on federal audit recommendations
San Diego Police Chief Shelley Zimmerman will soon update the city on the progress that she has made to fix holes found by federal authorities in supervision and accountability in the local policing system.
The Police Executive Research Forum (PERF), an autonomous auditing agency contracted by the U.S. Department of Justice (DoJ), was called by city leaders following a string of complaints of misconduct by police officers. PERF found that officers lacked accountability and they were not aptly supervised by senior officers.
The independent agency reviewed a total of seventeen cases, including recurring sexual assaults by former cop Anthony Arevalos. The review also revealed that lack of supervision allowed the officer's misconduct to go undetected for some time.
In a report to San Diego's Public Safety & Livable Neighborhoods Committee, police chief Zimmerman claimed that she has already implemented or is implementing forty recommendations made by federal auditors in March.
The police department and the Citizens' Review Board on Police Practices are now sharing information through computer software. The review board's executive director Sharmaine Moseley said her team can now track how police handle complaints and share that information with the victims' families and the community.
Speaking on the topic, Moseley said, "I'm trying to get as much information out there to the public in terms of how many complaints . are being made against the department. We will have more transparency. This is a huge step forward."
Poor communication between the police department and the Citizens' Review Board on Police Practices was previously a big challenge in holding officers accountable.
Police chief Zimmerman is scheduled to discuss the progress and share views on Wednesday during a meeting with the City Council's Public Safety & Livable Neighborhoods Committee members.
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