City’s Secretive Recruitment Process For New SDPD Chief Falls Short

SAN DIEGO – A coalition of community advocacy groups is calling on San Diego City leaders to have an open and transparent process to hire the next chief of police. The process announced by the city on Tuesday is deeply flawed because it includes an unidentified panel and just four meetings to gather public input.

The coalition members, including the Earl B. Gilliam Bar Association, San Diego La Raza Bar Association and the ACLU of San Diego and Imperial Counties, assert that a meaningful search process must include robust civic engagement that is community-centered, inclusive, and informed by diverse perspectives.

The selection process outlined by the city on Tuesday, which includes a secret selection panel and only four community meetings, falls far short of the mark. San Diegans deserve a public process, not closed-door interviews with a panel whose composition will not be revealed until after they decide who will be San Diego’s next police chief.

Members of the coalition have proposed a selection panel whose members are appointed by community stakeholders, including two youth seats, one seat appointed by each council member and four seats reserved for several city commission chairs.

Given San Diego’s size and diversity, we believe four community meetings are insufficient to gather input from our large and diverse city. Additional forums should be convened in Districts 8 and 9, where communities of color have disproportionate contact with police.

Members of the coalition will hold a press conference on Wednesday to voice our concerns:

Who: Alliance San Diego, ACLU of San Diego and Imperial Counties, CAST, San Diego LGBT Community Center, Center for Policy Initiatives, Earl B. Gilliam Bar Association, Mid-City CAN and San Diego Organizing Project

What: Coalition members will hold a news conference to express concerns over the city’s proposed selection process for a new chief of police.

Where: Between the Civic Center and entrance to City Hall, 202 C Street, San Diego.

When: Wednesday, Aug. 23 at 9:30 a.m.

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