SFPD Confronts Prejudice with "Not On My Watch" Campaign
San Francisco Police Chief Greg Suhr today launched a “Not On My Watch” (NOMW) campaign aimed at rooting out potential bigotry and intolerance among San Francisco police officers by promoting diversity in recruitment, bias training, community involvement and a first-of-its-kind pledge that department officers have been making.
The campaign includes a website, www.NotOnMyWatchSFPD.org, to help demonstrate how the department is working proactively to reduce bias among officers and in the community with a range of programs and initiatives. In launching the campaign, SFPD released a video of community members and police officers discussing the importance of the Not On My Watch pledge, which is just one of several NOMW initiatives.
San Francisco police officers are voluntarily taking the Not On My Watch pledge.
The Not On My Watch pledge states:
I, [Full Name], pledge to serve the people of San Francisco faithfully and honestly without prejudice.
I will not tolerate hate or bigotry in our community or from my fellow officers.
I will confront intolerance and report any such conduct without question or pause.
I will maintain the integrity of the San Francisco Police Department and safeguard the trust of the people of San Francisco.
I will treat members of the community as I would hope to be treated myself.
I will pursue justice with compassion and respect the dignity of others.
For those who would suggest there is any place for the stain of intolerance, I pledge, Not on My Watch.
“We are about more than just policing,” said Chief Suhr. “We are working every day to reflect the diverse and multi-faceted communities we are privileged to serve. The stain of intolerance is not acceptable in San Francisco. I call on police departments across the country to join us in taking this stand and commit to the Not On My Watch pledge.”
SFPD has undertaken several additional initiatives to combat discrimination within the department. All San Francisco Police Academy recruits are now required to participate in implicit-bias training, and all officers will receive implicit-bias training and procedural justice training by the end of the year. Chief Suhr has established an African-American Community Advisory Forum to open and enhance channels of communication and improve the department’s practices. SFPD is also aggressively recruiting police officers from a variety of cultural backgrounds to ensure that the department is a diverse organization that reflects the city’s demographic makeup. “The Police Department must look like San Francisco,” said Chief Suhr.
The Not On My Watch website will be updated regularly with information that lets the public know about the SFPD’s activities and its ongoing commitment to eliminate discrimination.
"As [with] all initiatives and pledges to the community, it’s always a great thing,” said Glenn Holden of the United Playaz, a San Francisco-based violence-prevention and youth-development organization. “It’s realistic. Hopefully, the pledgees are honest and willing to actually take a stand."
“This campaign does not diminish the need for other substantive initiatives such as the use of Body Worn Cameras and internal reporting and investigations,” added Chief Suhr. “We know that other departments around the country are making progress in these areas. We believe such initiatives will help us build and maintain trust with our community.”
Development of the Not On My Watch initiative began in the spring of 2015, inspired by retired officer Harry Soulette, who worked with police Sergeant Yulanda Williams, president of Officers for Justice, to begin creating a pledge.
The SFPD is currently conducting a comprehensive review of its use-of-force policies in addition to the reforms now underway. This year, police officers will be equipped with Body Worn Cameras, and Chief Suhr is increasing training on communication, de-escalation skills, and proportionality.
The department is aggressively recruiting in the city’s multicultural neighborhoods. Currently SFPD consists of 15 percent Asian, 15 percent Hispanic, 8 percent African-American and 6 percent Filipino members. Recent police academy graduating classes have an even higher representation of the city’s varied populations and higher education.
For more information on the Not on My Watch initiative, please visit www.NotOnMyWatchSFPD.org.