Action For Police Accountability:
Community Control of Police

Oink!'s Got Your Back
an official Newsletter of
Action for Police Accountability (circa 1996)
San Francisco, CA

Summarized from a story " Tale of Five Cities"
Oink! Spring 1996, Volume 2, Issue 1

In 1969 the Committee to Combat Fascism was convened in the form of a huge conference in Oakland where people of diverse ethnicities and nationalities discussed the struggles for justice throughout the world. The measures below were proposed as revisions to city charters in the Bay Area including San Francisco, Oakland, Berkeley, Richmond and Alameda.

Although the required signatures were obtained, authorities claimed to have lost all of the signatures in all five cities. They also refused to accept notarized copies of the signatures that had been stored in a bank vault and delivered to the Registrars Office by forward-thinking judges.

The idea that police should live in the neighborhoods where they serve is the obvious way to hold police accountable for their actions , and was also an idea that had been discussed in other countries where people were working for justice. In San Francisco 65 % of the police force lives outside the city.

The proposed City Charter changes were:

  • Police officers would have to live in the precincts where they are employed.
  • Seven commissioners would be appointed by a local police Control Council composed of 15 members who would be elected by the community.
  • The Councils would have the power to discipline the officers.

  • The Councils would be able to direct their Police Commissioner to make changes in department-wide policy by a majority vote.

  • The Councils would be able to recall a commissioner if s/he was no longer responsive to the community.
  • The community would be able to recall council member.