General Crime

* San Jose’s Independent Police Auditor Reports to City Council

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San Jose’s independent police auditor today presented her year-end report detailing police misconduct investigations and community outreach work to the City Council. Council members lauded the “2010 IPA Year End Report,” which summarizes the yearlong work of independent police auditor LaDoris Cordell and her staff of five. Cordell was appointed to the position in April 2010. The independent police auditor is charged with conducting reviews of police misconduct investigations and works to strengthen the relationship between the Police Department and the community. The report mentions the implementation of several changes to affect the public, including the adoption of a 60-day contact program to accelerate the complaint process, and increased outreach to immigrant communities and young people.

A major aspect of the report centered on use of force cases and allegations. In 2010, 60 force cases — cases involving one or more allegations of improper use of force by a San Jose police officer — were filed, one fewer than in 2009 but considerably fewer than the 117 cases that were filed in 2007 and 2008. “We didn’t see any dramatic changes from prior years,” Cordell said. The report states that 65 force cases were audited and that in most cases the independent police auditor agreed with Police Department findings. Police Chief Chris Moore said that although they did not agree on everything, he welcomed Cordell’s recommendations and remarked that her suggestions were “thoughtful” and easy to implement. “The truth is I’m very honored to work with her,” Moore said.

He said he has already implemented some of Cordell’s recommendations in the report. One of those is for the Police Department’s internal affairs unit to improve its timeliness by setting a one-year limit on investigations into police misconduct in order to give the independent police auditor’s office sufficient time to review the case. He added that he has temporarily assigned additional staffing in the internal affairs unit to reduce the backlog. Echoing the sentiments of the other council members, Councilwoman Nancy Pyle said she was “amazed” by Cordell’s work. “I’m not surprised because you do everything in such a professional way,” Pyle said. “This is a beautiful report.”Councilwoman Rose Herrera called the report “easy-to-read” and “informative.” She lavished praise on the Police Department and the office of the independent auditor. “This is just such an incredible partnership,” Herrera said. “You guys are creating institutions that will outlive you.” The full report can be viewed online at www.sanjoseca.gov/IPA.

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