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(a) There shall be under the Police Commission a Department of Police Accountability (“DPA”).
(b) The Mayor shall appoint a nominee of the Police Commission as the Director of DPA, subject to confirmation by the Board of Supervisors. The Director shall serve at the pleasure of the Police Commission. If the Board of Supervisors fails to act on the appointment within 30 days, the appointment shall be deemed approved. In the event the office is vacant, until the Mayor makes an appointment and that appointment is confirmed by the Board, the Police Commission shall appoint an interim Director who shall serve at the pleasure of the Police Commission. The appointment of the Director shall be exempt from the civil service requirements of this Charter. The Director shall never have been a uniformed member or employee of the Police Department. The Director shall be the appointing officer under the civil service provisions of this Charter for the appointment, removal, or discipline of employees of DPA.
(c) The Police Commission shall have the power and duty to organize, reorganize, and manage DPA. Subject to the civil service provisions of this Charter, DPA shall include investigators and hearing officers. The staff of DPA shall consist of no fewer than one line investigator for every 150 sworn members. Whenever the ratio of investigators to police officers specified by this section is not met for more than 30 consecutive days, the Director shall have the power to hire, and the City Controller must pay, temporary investigators to meet such staffing requirements. No full-time or part-time employee of DPA shall have previously served as a uniformed member of the Police Department. Subject to rules of the Police Commission, the Director may appoint part-time hearing officers who shall be exempt from the civil service requirements of this Charter. Compensation of the hearing officers shall be at rates recommended by the Commission and established by the Board of Supervisors or by contract approved by the Board of Supervisors.
(d) DPA shall promptly, fairly, and impartially investigate all complaints regarding police use of force, misconduct or allegations that a member of the Police Department has not properly performed a duty, except those complaints which on their face clearly indicate that the acts complained of were proper and those complaints lodged by other members of the Police Department. DPA shall use its best efforts to conclude investigations of such complaints and, if sustained, transmit the sustained complaint to the Police Department within nine months of receipt thereof by DPA. If DPA is unable to conclude its investigation within such nine-month period, the Director, within such nine-month period, shall inform the Chief of Police of the reasons therefor and transmit information and evidence from the investigation as shall facilitate the Chief’s timely consideration of the matter.
(e) DPA shall recommend disciplinary action to the Chief of Police on those complaints that are sustained. The Director, after meeting and conferring with the Chief of Police or his or her designee, may verify and file charges with the Police Commission against members of the Police Department arising out of sustained complaints; provided, that the Director may not verify and file such charges for a period of 60 days following the transmittal of the sustained complaint to the Police Department unless the Director issues a written determination that the limitations period within which the member or members may be disciplined under Government Code Section 3304, as amended from time to time or any successor provisions thereto, may expire within such 60-day period and (1) the Chief of Police fails or refuses to file charges with the Police Commission arising out of the sustained complaint, (2) the Chief of Police or his or her designee fails or refuses to meet and confer with the Director on the matter, or (3) other exigent circumstances necessitate that the Director verify and file charges to preserve the ability of the Police Commission to impose punishment pursuant to Section A8.343.
(f) The Director shall schedule hearings before hearing officers when such is requested by the complainant or a member of the Police Department and, in accordance with rules of the Commission, such a hearing will facilitate the fact-finding process. The Board of Supervisors may provide by ordinance that DPA shall in the same manner investigate and make recommendations to the Chief of Police regarding complaints of misconduct by patrol special police officers and their uniformed employees.
(g) Nothing herein shall prohibit the Chief of Police or a commanding officer from investigating the conduct of a member of the Police Department under his or her command, or taking disciplinary or corrective action, otherwise permitted by this Charter, when such is warranted; and nothing herein shall limit or otherwise restrict the disciplinary powers vested in the Chief of Police and the Police Commission by other provisions of this Charter.
(h) DPA shall prepare in accordance with rules of the Commission monthly summaries of the complaints received and shall prepare recommendations quarterly concerning policies or practices of the Police Department which could be changed or amended to avoid unnecessary tension with the public or a definable segment of the public while insuring effective police services.
(i) DPA shall prepare a report for the President of the Board of Supervisors each quarter. This report shall include, but not be limited to, the number and type of complaints filed, the outcome of the complaints, and a review of the disciplinary action taken. The President of the Board of Supervisors shall refer this report to the appropriate committee of the Board of Supervisors charged with public safety responsibilities. Said committee may issue recommendations as needed.
(j) In carrying out its objectives, including the preparation of recommendations concerning departmental policies or practices referenced above, the investigations referenced above, and the audits noted below, DPA shall receive prompt and full cooperation and assistance from all departments, officers, and employees of the City and County, which shall, unless prohibited by state or federal law, promptly produce all records and information requested by DPA, including but not limited to (1) records relevant to Police Department policies or practices, (2) personnel and disciplinary records of Police Department employees, (3) criminal investigative and prosecution files, and (4) all records to which the Police Commission has access, regardless of whether those records pertain to a particular complaint. The DPA shall maintain the confidentiality of any records and information it receives to the extent required by state or federal law governing such records or information. The Director may also request and the Chief of Police shall require the testimony or attendance of any member of the Police Department to carry out the responsibilities of DPA. Nothing in this Section 4.136 is intended or shall be construed to interfere with the duties of the Sheriff or the District Attorney under state law, including their constitutional and statutory powers and duties under Government Code Section 25303, as amended from time to time or any successor provisions thereto, or other applicable state law or judicial decision.
(k) Every two years, DPA shall conduct a performance audit or review of police officer use of force and how the Police Department has handled claims of officer misconduct. DPA shall also have the authority to conduct performance audits or reviews of whether Police Department personnel and management have complied with federal and state law, City ordinances and policies, and Police Department policies. The Director shall have the discretion to determine the frequency, topics, and scope of such performance audits or reviews. To the extent permitted by law, DPA shall also allow public access to information on the progress and disposition of claims of misconduct or use of force, and the results of the performance audits and reviews conducted by DPA.
(l) The DPA budget shall be separate from the budget of the Police Department. Notwithstanding Section 4.102(3), the Director shall submit DPA’s proposed annual or two-year budget directly to the Mayor.
(Added by Proposition G, Approved 11/8/2016)