Joint Audit Report Released: The Police Department Needs Clearer Guidance and More Proactive Governance for Better Use-of-Force Data Collection and Reporting

San Francisco, CA (October 5, 2020) — The City and County of San Francisco Controller’s Office, in collaboration with the City’s Department of Police Accountability, has released the results of an audit that assessed whether the San Francisco Police Department (SFPD) collects and reports use-of-force data adequately and effectively.

The audit concluded that SFPD’s approach to collecting use-of-force data is effective and results in reasonably accurate data collected for incidents with reported force, but SFPD should issue additional guidance to clarify policy gray areas and address process weaknesses that contribute to misreported force. Further, SFPD should analyze use-of-force data to monitor policy compliance, gain insight into the role bias plays in force, and identify training opportunities.

The report includes 37 recommendations for SFPD to improve and strengthen its use-of-force reporting and data collection process, analysis of collected use-of-force data, and public reporting of use-of-force data. The Controller’s Office and Department of Police Accountability and will work with SFPD to follow up every six months on the status of the open recommendations made in the report.

Fact Sheet:PDF icon Audit Report Fact Sheet_Police Use-of-Force 10.5.20.pdf

Press Release: PDF icon Controller's Office and Department of Police Accountability Press Release 10.5.20.pdf

Download the full report here.

Police use-of-force infographic


Controller’s Office: Acting Director of Audits Mark de la Rosa at
Department of Police Accountability: Director of Audits Steve Flaherty

Press Queries
Controller’s Office: Communications Manager Alyssa Sewlal at
Department of Police Accountability: Chief of Staff Sarah Hawkins at



About the Office of the Controller
The City Services Auditor (CSA) was created in the Office of the Controller through an amendment to the Charter of the City and County of San Francisco (City) that voters approved in 2003. Within CSA, the Audits Division ensures the City’s financial integrity and promotes efficient, effective, and accountable government by conducting performance audits, investigating reports received through its whistleblower hotline, and providing actionable recommendations to city leaders to improve the overall performance of city government.

About the Department of Police Accountability
The mission of the Department of Police Accountability is to promptly, fairly and impartially investigate complaints against San Francisco police officers, make policy recommendations on police practices, and periodically audit the San Francisco Police Department. Civilians who have never been police officers in San Francisco staff the Department of Police Accountability.