SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) — New changes could be coming to the Sacramento Police Department soon, but not everyone is on board.
Some of those changes would impact the use-of-force policy and how officers are disciplined when there’s misconduct.
Over the last few years, the Sacramento Community Police Review Commission has made recommendations on policy changes to the police department.
Tuesday night, the city council heard those recommendations.
“The policies that are being recommended to us are, really, best practices,” said District 4 City Councilwoman Katie Valenzuela. “It’s what reflects what other jurisdictions do, it what reflects current law. It really makes it clear what the expectations are for officers and for the community.”
Tim Davis, the president of the Sacramento Police Officers Association, said some of those changes would create a problem within the department, especially when it comes to discipline.
The committee recommended the department come up with a discipline matrix to provide a better understanding to the public and officers on the repercussions for officers facing misconduct allegations.
“Officers should not be held to an unbending standard,” Davis told FOX40. “There should be circumstances and mitigating factors should be taken into account when determining what punishment an officer should receive if they do commit misconduct.”
On top of that, Davis said it’s difficult to take recommendations from committee members who do not have a background in law enforcement.
But Mario Guerrero, the chair of the Sacramento Community Police Review Commission, said he disagrees.
“The recommendations, in particular, didn’t come out of thin air,” Guerrero said. “There has been a lot of research that has been done. Many jurisdictions have implemented some of the recommendations that we have.”
While it’s clear the topics are controversial, District 3 Councilman Jeff Harris said these decisions should not be taken lightly.
“This isn’t renaming a park, right? These are really important decisions and, frankly, they can mean life and death,” he said.
The Sacramento City Council will hear additional analyses and vote on these recommendations at an upcoming meeting.