File a complaint about police services

Start the complaint process about an SFPD officer or police policy.

What to do

You can make a complaint about any police policy or incident. You do not need to have been directly involved in the incident. 

You can file a complaint any time after the incident. But we have only 1 year to finish an investigation after you’ve filed.

Tell us what happened

You’ll need to tell us about the incident. We need to know:

  • Date 
  • Time
  • Location

Anything else you can tell us about what happened will make it easier to investigate. We’ll ask you for:

  • Officer names
  • Witness names 
  • Incident report or citation numbers

Report an incident

An investigator will contact you for further information afterwards. We will need a phone number or email address.

Phone

You can call our offices to file a complaint.

With your permission, we will record the interview for the investigation.

Free translation services are available.

In-Person

You can come to our offices, or any police station, to file a complaint.

Department of Police Accountability

1 South Van Ness Avenue, 8th Floor
San Francisco, CA 94103

Mon to Fri, 8:00 am to 5:00 pm

Update: Our office is currently closed until further notice for health and safety reasons. Please file your complaint online, by mail, or by phone.

Mail

We can also mail you a blank complaint form. Return postage will be included.

Department of Police Accountability
1 South Van Ness Avenue, 8th Floor
San Francisco, CA 94103

If you do not speak English

We have staff who speak other languages including Spanish, Tagalog, Mandarin, Cantonese and Burmese. If we don’t speak your language, we will provide a free interpreter.

After you file a complaint

Once we review your complaint, an investigator may contact you for more information. We’ll also notify any officers involved and their supervisors. 

Mediation

If you request mediation or if it’s an option for your case, a mediation coordinator may contact you. The coordinator will explain the differences between mediation and investigation. You will also be able to ask any questions you have. 

Investigation

If your case isn’t going to mediation, we’ll investigate whether the officer followed the rules. When we finish the investigation, we’ll let you know the outcomes. 

We’ll also consider policy suggestions related to your complaint.

Special cases

Anonymous complaints

You can file a complaint anonymously. But it’s hard to investigate if we can’t ask you more questions.

Privacy in records requests

You can file a complaint anonymously. But it’s hard to investigate if we can’t ask you more questions.

We will keep your information safe. 

Courts and the public can sometimes request records. Before we share the records, we try to remove anything that could identify you. But it’s sometimes possible to work out who filed a complaint.

Why is this transaction good for the community?

Findings from your complaint can be used to influence SFPD policy.

Get help

Phone

Department of Police Accountability

Last updated August 25, 2021