SAN DIEGO — San Diego law enforcement agencies announced new protocols Wednesday to ensure an agency never investigates its own deadly use of force or a shooting involving an officer.
The San Diego Sheriff’s Department will investigate incidents involving the San Diego Police Department, and the police will handle incidents involving the sheriff's department and other local agencies.
"It's another example of how local law enforcement agencies are committed to unbiases investigations when there is an officer or deputy-involved shooting,” said Chief Roxana Kennedy of the Chula Vista Police Department.
Law enforcement agencies around San Diego County hope the new protocols will create more transparency in avoiding public perceptions of bias stemming
from the common practice of agencies evaluating their own use of deadly force.
"To truly strengthen the relationship with the people we serve, we must meet them at a place of trust and understanding,” said Chief David Nisleit of the San Diego Police Department.
The policy aims to remove any conflict of interest by having another agency investigate an officer’s deadly use of force or a shooting.
Agencies will try releasing audio and video within 45 days of an incident or sooner.
"Communication is key with social media and everything else that goes on these days. The dedication to that will be most helpful,” said Paul Parker, the executive officer of the Citizen's Law Enforcement Review Board.
Parker said the new protocols are step in the right direction, but wants to see further steps taken to keep the public and especially families in the loop.
"We made a policy recommendation last night for the sheriff's department to expand its family liaison protocol mandating that families are talked to throughout the process which their policy already says but met with at the end of the criminal investigation,” he said.
The new protocol is set to go into effect May 1.
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