SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA
Agency: Office of Citizen Complaints (OCC) (Current as of September, 2013)
Office of Citizen Complaints
25 Van Ness Ave., Suite 700
San Francisco, CA 94102
Agency website: www.sfgov3.org/index.aspx?page=419
Type of oversight mechanism: Investigative & Commission
Oversight of: San Francisco Police Department (SFPD) (Municipal police agency)
Number of sworn police officers: 2,178
Population of City: 825,000 (2012 estimate)
Enabling legislation: City & County of San Francisco Charter Section 4.127 (see Attachment 1)
35 (Total budgeted staff, 2012 – 2013; see Attachment 5, OCC Budgeted Positions, listing salaries)
- 1 Director
- 1 Deputy Director (See Attachment 7, OCC Deputy Director Job Description)
- 3 senior investigators (See Attachment 8, OCC Senior Investigator Job Description)
- 3.75 attorneys (one a policy/outreach specialist)
- 17 line investigators (the City Charter requires one investigator for every 150 sworn officers. See Attachment 6, OCC Investigator Job Description)
- 8 clerical, accounting and database/statistical personnel
- 1 Executive Secretary
Budget: $4,321,169 (FY 2011 – 2012)
Authority/function/jurisdiction of the agency
(See Attachment 1, San Francisco Charter Section 4.127; Attachment 2, San Francisco Administrative Code Section 96)
- Receives complaints (has sole jurisdiction over civilian-initiated complaints).
- Classifies complaints
- Investigates complaints using civilian investigators
- Makes findings on complaints investigated by civilian investigators
- Makes policy recommendations
Scope of agency’s authority:
- Can compel production of police agency records (see Attachment 4, OCC Document Access Protocol – Police Commission Resolution 44-03)
- Can compel production of records from other city/county/government agencies.
- Can compel statements from officers (see Attachment 3, San Francisco Police Department General Order 2.04)
- Can subpoena documents, evidence & witnesses (See Attachment 2, San Francisco Administrative Code Section 96.6).
The OCC offers mediation as an alternative way of resolving complaints about police conduct. The OCC has a mediation program that enables complainants to resolve their issues with the accused officer in a face-to-face dispute resolution process involving trained mediators. The goal of the program is to bring together the involved parties in an effort to achieve mutual understanding. Mediation is limited to cases determined eligible by the OCC and must be agreed to by both the complainant and the accused officer. Cases that are successfully mediated are not considered disciplinary proceedings in an officer's record. (See Attachment 9, OCC Mediation Rules and Attachment 10, OCC Mediation Brochure).
The Office of Citizen Complaints (OCC) reports to the Police Commission (Commission). The Commission is comprised of seven volunteer members, 4 appointed by the Mayor and confirmed by the Board of Supervisors and 3 appointed by the Board of Supervisors. The Mayor appoints a nominee of the Police Commission as the Director of the Office of Citizen Complaints, subject to confirmation by the Board of Supervisors. The Director serves at the pleasure of the Police Commission.
The Commission oversees the operations of the SFPD and the OCC. The Commission has authority to discipline uniformed members of the SFPD for discipline exceeding a ten-day suspension. The Chief of Police has the authority to impose discipline not exceeding a ten-day suspension. The Commission hears appeals of discipline imposed by the Chief of Police. (See link to Hearing Procedures and Police Commission Procedural Rules Governing Trial of Disciplinary Cases).
The mission of the Office of Citizen complaints is to promptly, fairly and impartially investigate complaints against San Francisco police officers and make policy recommendations regarding police practices.
Performance Reviews or Studies & Audits:
San Francisco Controller’s Office Report: Office of Citizen Complaints – Weak Case Management and Organizational Issues Degrade OCC’s Performance, 1/24/07 (See Attachment 15)
San Francisco Controller’s Office: Results of Follow-Up of 2007 Audit of Office of Citizen Complaints, 5/29/12 (See Attachment 16) http://co.sfgov.org/webreports/details.aspx?id=1427
Results of Surveys:
Surveys of complainants and police officers are in progress and will be available in early 2014.
- OCC Reports and Statistics: http://www.sfgov3.org/index.aspx?page=515
- OCC Policy Recommendations: http://www.sfgov3.org/index.aspx?page=420
- San Francisco Police Commission: http://sf-police.org/index.aspx?page=2572
- San Francisco Police Department General Orders (Policies and procedures and rules governing conduct): http://sf-police.org/index.aspx?page=1720
- San Francisco Police Commission Procedural Rules Governing Trial of Disciplinary Cases: http://www.sf-police.org/Modules/ShowDocument.aspx?documentid=26461
13) OCC Brochure