Community policing in San Francisco could be more defined by legislation 

Community policing is often thrown around as a political buzzword, but it could soon become a clearly defined city law. 

Amid concerns over this year’s homicide rate, which is higher than in recent years, Supervisor David Campos has said the Police Department needs to improve its community policing. On Tuesday, he introduced legislation that would make the crime-fighting strategy part of city code.

“For the first time, [the legislation] provides a definition of community policing,” Campos said. “Oftentimes we talk about community policing without even knowing what it is we are talking about.”

Community policing, under the legislation, could include such things as foot patrols, community working groups, specific community training for officers, “two-way communication” through newsletters or other “social network tools” between police stations and the community, a lieutenant at each police station focused on community policing, and a “vibrant network of community-based organizations.”

The legislation would require the Police Department to review its “policies, procedures organization and operations on an annual basis to ensure compliance” with the policy.

The Police Department’s existing community policing efforts will be discussed in a March 9 joint meeting with the Police Commission and the board’s Public Safety Committee.

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