Phase II – 18 Month Progress Report Highlights SFPD’s Progress on Collaborative Reform 20-027

The California Department of Justice today announced the release of the second report on the San Francisco Police Department’s progress on Collaborative Reform, including its progress in reducing officer use of force, identifying and addressing bias, and enhancing community policing, transparency and accountability.

Following the U.S. Department of Justice’s withdrawal from the Collaborative Reform process in 2017, SFPD requested that the California Department of Justice independently evaluate the police department’s ongoing reform efforts. In 2018, SFPD requested and received technical assistance from Hillard Heintze and the CA DOJ to develop more stringent compliance standards.

“SFPD is undergoing an enormous transformation and we are grateful for our partnership with California Department of Justice and Hillard Heintze,” said San Francisco Police Chief William Scott. “The technical assistance provided through this collaboration enables SFPD staff to address the many complex challenges associated with reform. As we enter Phase III of the collaborative process, we are committed to identifying strategies that will help accelerate this work and solidify our extraordinary achievements.”

SFPD’s accomplishments under Collaborative Reform include:

  • Forty-eight recommendations to date found to be substantially compliant by the CA DOJ with a total of 109 recommendations submitted for review
  • Decreased overall use of force by 56 percent since 2016
  • Decreased the pointing of firearms by officers by 67 percent since 2016
  • Decreased stops of African-Americans and Latinos by 29 percent and 20 percent respectively, between Q4 2018 an Q4 2019
  • Provided all patrol officers with at least 10 hours of Crisis Intervention Team field tactics training
  • Created Critical Mindset Coordinated Response training to reduce use of force and enable more favorable outcomes during crisis situations
  • Conducted audits of SFPD computers, emails and phones for biased language and reported findings quarterly to the San Francisco Police Commission
  • Increased accountability by signing a Memorandum of Understanding enabling the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office to serve as the lead investigator of officer-involved shootings
  • Mandated training on implicit bias, racial profiling, and racial and cultural diversity to help ensure fair and impartial community policing
  • Implemented a public education campaign online and in stations to educate the public on policies and procedures for reporting misconduct centered on bias
  • Created a comprehensive community policing strategic plan in partnership with members of the community to guide the department’s practices and values
  • Worked with the Police Commission to convene community-based workgroups to obtain input on the development of bias-free policies and other best practices
  • Developed its first Department General Order that specifically deals with gender inclusivity

The success of SFPD’s reform work is also reflected in the California Attorney General’s 2020 Racial and Identity Profiling Advisory Board (RIPA) Annual Report:

  • SFPD has the lowest rate (3 percent) of bias-related complaints compared to other major state law enforcement agencies
  • SFPD meets 9 of 10 RIPA recommendations for bias-free policing and policy
  • Other CA law enforcement agencies are encouraged follow SFPD’s development model in establishing policies prohibiting biased policing
  • SFPD is commended as the first state law enforcement agency to develop a bias-by-proxy policy

In regards to the pace and number of reforms implemented, the CAL DOJ Phase II report points out that many of the recommendations are tied to the ongoing revisions of approximately 125 Department General Orders (DGOs). This revision process involves input from numerous stakeholders, including community members, working groups, the Police Commission and SFDHR. The CA DOJ report calls for all stakeholders to work more collaboratively in order to help SFPD accelerate the implementation process. By doing so, SFPD is empowered to make substantial, sustainable change that is establishing the department as the model agency for 21st Century Policing.

To learn more about SFPD’s Collaborative Reform work, please visit

To read the Phase II – 18 Month Progress Report, please visit