In October 2016, the US Department of Justice’s Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) issued recommendations to increase accountability and address institutionalized bias in the San Francisco Police Department (SFPD). Every major city official and stakeholder has welcomed and agreed to implement these recommendations, including the late Mayor Edwin Lee and current Mayor Mark Farrell, Police Chief William Scott, and the Police Commission. SFPD and community leaders have devoted vast amounts of time and resources to implement these recommendations. The California Attorney General recently agreed to oversee the implementation of these reforms. The San Francisco Police Officers Association (POA) leadership also claims that they support these reforms, but implementing these reforms will be challenging unless the POA commits to this support in the new police Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) being negotiated right now. This is because the POA has consistently used labor law (and claimed labor rights they don’t have) to undermine public safety by blocking, weakening, or delaying common-sense policies that would make San Francisco safer.
In sum, we demand an MOU between the City and POA that prioritizes public safety and police accountability and represents the needs of communities most impacted by over-policing, racial profiling, and police violence. Specifically, we demand:
- a provision in the new MOU ensuring that the POA will not invoke—or claim the right of—meet-and-confer or interest arbitration regarding any policy enacted or issued to implement the US DOJ COPS recommendations; and
- Mayor Farrell’s recusal from these negotiations by ceding direction of DHR to the Board of Supervisors.
The coalition has made these demands directly to Mayor Farrell via letters. Mayor Farrell has not yet met with the coalition in person.