(Jessica Christian/S.F. Examiner file photo)

New SFPD report highlights 47 percent drop in use of force incidents since 2016

Use of force by San Francisco Police Department officers has dropped over the last three years by 47 percent, according to new data released by the department on Friday.

The third quarter Use of Force, Arrest and Police Encounters Report showed overall use of force has dropped in the city by nearly half since the police department first started reporting such data in July 2016, as required by an ordinance passed by supervisors that same year.

According to the report, in this year’s third quarter, police counted 500 use of force instances. That translates to a 24 percent decrease in use of force compared to 2018’s third quarter report.

Police Chief William Scott credited the drop in numbers to an ongoing effort by police to deter violent crime.

“We know that our focus on de-escalation and proportionality is creating more positive outcomes,” he said.

“San Francisco continues to see a decline in violent crimes, thanks to our continued collaboration with the public. From our foot beats to our station staff, we are committed to working with our communities to increase trust and build an even safer San Francisco,” he said.

The report additionally showed that the drop in use of force was generally uniform across all demographic groups, including age, race and gender.

It also showed that no use of force incidents resulted in death in 2019’s third quarter. The last officer-involved shooting in San Francisco resulting in death happened in June 2018.

On the flip side, the report showed that assaults against officers increased by 7 percent compared to the third quarter in 2018.

According to SFPD’s Assistant Chief Mike Redmond, the drop in use of force numbers can also be credited to the department’s ongoing Crisis Intervention Team training and the newly implemented Critical Mindset Coordinated Response training. Both trainings teach officers crisis response Strategies.

“All of it has to do with training and preparing the officers to be able to respond in a real time situation,” Redmond said.

“Part of this training, it’s really out of the classroom. It’s very scenario based training,” he said. “They’re not sitting in the classroom getting talked to. They’re in the scenarios that they see everyday out in the streets.”

Daniel Montes, Bay City News

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