Policy Division

Our team makes policy recommendations to align police policies with the law, best practices, and community values.


The City Charter requires the Department of Police Accountability (DPA) to make police policy recommendations to the San Francisco Police Department (SFPD) and the Police Commission.

Our division makes policy recommendations through:

  • Quarterly policy reports to the Police Commission
  • Working groups with SFPD
  • SFPD’s Disciplinary Review Boards when we determine that a policy failure occurred during our investigations of officer-involved shootings or public complaints of police misconduct

DPA has the authority to propose new SFPD Department General Orders (DGOs), or revise existing DGO’s through SFPD Department General Order 3.01. 

DOJ policy recommendations

The DPA makes policy recommendations to address the U.S Department of Justice’s (DOJ) recommendations to improve the SFPD.

In 2015 and 2016, the SFPD faced mounting public concern over a series of high-profile officer-involved shootings. Together with then-Supervisors London Breed and Malia Cohen, Mayor Ed Lee and SFPD asked the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) for a voluntary, top-to-bottom review of the San Francisco Police Department’s practices. 

In the request to DOJ, the City sought “answers about how as a Police Department and a City we can build deeper, stronger trust between law enforcement and the communities they’re sworn to protect.”

The DOJ released a report which identified 5 areas for improvement:

  • Use of Force Reforms 
  • Bias Reforms
  • Community Policing Reforms 
  • Accountability Reforms
  • Recruitment, Hiring, and Personnel Reforms 

Today SFPD is compliant with 193 substantial recommendations of the 272 recommendations. Fifty-nine recommendations are in external validation.


Department of Police Accountability

1 South Van Ness Ave 8th Floor
San Francisco, CA 94103

Mon to Fri, 8:00 am to 5:00 pm

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Request public records

Submit requests for the Policy Division.