The mission of the San Francisco Police Commission is to set policy for the Police Department and to conduct disciplinary hearings on charges of police misconduct filed by the Chief of Police or Director of the Department of Police Accountability, impose discipline in such cases as warranted, and hear police officers’ appeals from discipline imposed by the Chief of Police.
Commissioners are appointed by the Mayor and the Board of Supervisors and they oversee the Police Department and the Department of Police Accountability. The Commission also appoints and regulates Patrol Special Officers and may suspend or dismiss Patrol Special Officers after a hearing on charges filed.
Since the early 1850’s, the people charged with administering the affairs of the Police Department were formed into a board comprising the Mayor, Police Judge and the Chief of Police. On April 1, 1878, the first regular Police Commission was appointed. The selection process at the time was made by the Governor of the state. From 1900 to 2004, under the city charter, the selection process for police commissioners was made exclusively by the Mayor of the city.
In 2004, city charter 4.109 changed the selection process for police commissioners to consist of seven members with the Mayor nominating four members, at least one of whom shall be a retired judge or an attorney with trial experience. The Rules Committee of the Board of Supervisors shall nominate three other members to the commission. Each nomination shall be subject to confirmation by the Board of Supervisors, and the Mayor's nominations shall be the subject of a public hearing and vote within 60 days. If the Board of Supervisors rejects the Mayor's nomination to fill the seat designated for a retired judge or attorney with trial experience, the Mayor shall nominate a different person with such qualifications. If the Board of Supervisors fails to act on a mayoral nomination within 60 days of the date the nomination is transmitted to the Clerk of the Board of Supervisors, the nominee shall be deemed confirmed.