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PERF report recommendations provided to residents

SAN ANTONIO, TX.- The City released today the results of the Police Executive Research Forum (PERF) report which evaluated polices and procedures of the San Antonio Police Department (SAPD). The study was recommended last November by Police Chief William McManus to examine how the department can improve service delivery to residents as well as address high-profile policies within the department including departmental training practices; the use-of-force and the process by which citizens file complaints against officers.

The City contracted with the PERF to conduct the study which consisted of a gender and ethnically diverse team tasked with reviewing SAPD policies and procedures as well as interviewing community residents, department members, and the San Antonio Police Officers Association (SAPOA) Executive Board in order to assess the Department.

“The PERF Report recommendations will provide SAPD with new direction to review its policies and make necessary changes to improve as a department resulting in better police services,” said City Manager Sheryl Sculley. “The recommendations will be provided to the residents of San Antonio, to encourage community-wide input.”

The report indicates that, overall, SAPD’s policies and training are designed following the standards of the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies. The report also identifies 141 recommendations for improvements within the department.

Based on SAPD’s review of the report, 105 recommendations are proposed for implementation and 29 are recommended for further study. Four of the recommendations will involve changes to the Collective Bargaining Agreement with the SAPOA.

The department has developed a plan to review and implement the recommendations to include the creation of three committees to organize, draft policies, devise departmental implementation, and in some cases further analyze recommendations. The three committees are as follows: the Internal Affairs/Citizens Advisory Action Board Committee; the Use of Force/Training Committee; and the General Manual Committee. The committees will be comprised of SAPD officers, representatives from SAPOA and representatives from the community. Committee work is anticipated to begin by the end of this month. The committees will review all items and implement or recommend changes by the end of April 2009.

“It is important that we continue to enhance an open process for evaluating citizen complaints within the department,” said Chief McManus. “Serving the citizens of San Antonio with the highest standards in policing is our main priority. “

In an effort to assist Chief McManus with overseeing the implementation of the recommendations, the City will utilize one or more outside facilitators to ensure that implementation plans are developed consistent with the PERF recommendations.

Throughout the process, the City will provide periodic status updates to the City Council Public Safety Committee on the Department’s progress.

PERF, a national membership non-profit organization of progressive police executives dedicated to improving policing and advancing professionalism through research and involvement in public policy debate. PERF has experience helping police agencies across the country with full-scale management studies, performance audits, and organizational studies and provides technical assistance focusing on specific police units and programs, training and development, and new technologies. PERF is a developer and compiler of police best practices.

The PERF recommendations and the responses will be available on the front page of the City’s website at www.sanantonio.gov as well as on the SAPD website at http://www.sanantonio.gov/sapd.