police reform

San Francisco Police Chief Supports Police Reform

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People across the country are in the streets demanding police reform and in San Francisco, Chief Bill Scott says police departments need to make changes.

“In my opinion transparency is the key to accountability,” Scott said.

But there is a lot of work to do. In this month's Police Officers Association's newsletter, there was a reminder about sealing 2-year-old written reprimands and 5-year-old suspensions in an officer’s personnel file.

This so they cannot be used against officers who pursue promotions, transfers or special assignments.

“I understand the optics are horrible based on what's going on on a national level,” said Tony Montoya, San Francisco Police Officers Association president.

Montoya says it's offenses like missing court, a DUI or a suspended license.

Sealing the records means officers can advance in their career, but with a new city contract on the table next year he expects transparency to be on the table.

“Since this is at the forefront of police reform I'm sure it's going to be a topic brought up,” said
Montoya.

Scott said while he is not troubled by the rule he will be at the table. 

“That doesn't alarm me, what would alarm me is if people aren't open to changing the rules,” he said.

Those sealed records can be opened if the officer later faces disciplinary action. But Police Commissioner John Hamasaki says it's time to talk about having a complete picture of an officers history in their personnel file.

“This is the time in the debate when we should move forward with unsealing disciplinary documents,” said Hamasaki.

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