City’s Office of Citizen Complaints to be audited

San Francisco police commissioners on Wednesday approved a formal performance audit of the agency that handles citizen complaints against the Police Department.

The City Controller’s Office will conduct the audit, which the commission first called for earlier this year. It will examine the Office of Citizen Complaints’ efficiency and effectiveness, as well as that of its director, Kevin Allen.

The commission has received complaints that the office has moved too slowly on disciplinary cases, exceeding the statute of limitations on charges against officers so that they cannot be disciplined. The San Francisco Police Officers Association, meanwhile, has repeatedly called for the OCC to conduct more transparent investigations.

Police Chief Heather Fong said she was glad the audit would move forward. “When there are allegations of misconduct, officers deserve to have a fair investigation based on facts,” she said. She also said the audit might help clarify officers’ required cooperation with OCC investigations. “It is very clear that this [officer cooperation] is not a request, it is a directive.”

Peg Stevenson, director of performance audits for the City Controller’s Office, said the office had done the initial groundwork for the investigation but was waiting for Wednesday’s authorization to officially commence its report. She said her office would be looking at communications within the agency and with other agencies, as well as management procedures.

Commission Vice President Theresa Sparks said the commission had called for the audit “because of the excessive amount of personnel turnover and the fact that we did not receive reports required by the [city] charter, such as the annual report.”

Allen said he welcomes the audit. “I think outside eyes are important,” he said, for maximizing the office’s efficiency. “We’ve tried to be in complete compliance in providing documents,” he said, but confidentiality restrictions prohibit the OCC from revealing all of its paperwork.

amartin@examiner.com

Bay Area NewsLocal

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

Organizer Jas Florentino, left, explains the figures which represent 350 kidnapped Africans first sold as slaves in the United States in 1619 in sculptor Dana King’s “Monumental Reckoning.” The installation is in the space of the former Francis Scott Key monument in Golden Gate Park. (Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner)
What a reparations program would look like in The City

‘If there’s any place we can do it, it’s San Francisco’

Officer Joel Babbs at a protest outside the Hall of Justice in 2017 (Bay City News file photo)
The strange and troubling story of Joel Babbs: What it tells us about the SFPD

The bizarre and troubling career of a whistle-blowing San Francisco police officer… Continue reading

Gov. Gavin Newsom speaks at a COVID-19 update at the City College of San Francisco mass vaccination site in April. (Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner)
Gavin Newsom under COVID: The governor dishes on his pandemic life

By Emily Hoeven CalMatters It was strange, after 15 months of watching… Continue reading

People fish at a dock at Islais Creek Park on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner)
What Islais Creek tells us about rising sea levels in San Francisco

Islais Creek is an unassuming waterway along San Francisco’s eastern industrial shoreline,… Continue reading

Deputy public defender Chris Garcia outside the Hall of Justice on Wednesday, June 16, 2021. (Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner)
As pandemic wanes, SF public defender hopes clients will get ‘their day in court’

Like other attorneys in San Francisco, Deputy Public Defender Chris Garcia has… Continue reading

Most Read