The San Francisco Police Department has one of the country’s oldest, state-certified recruit academies. In order to prepare recruits to understand and embrace the cultures and diversity of our San Francisco communities, the Training Division curriculum delivers training specific to San Francisco, along with the California Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST).
Basic Academy recruits currently undergo a 32-week training curriculum. This will expand to 34 weeks starting in February 2016. The program includes a variety of courses carefully developed to build public trust. These courses include ethics, professionalism, community immersion, introduction to procedural justice, interpersonal communications and crisis intervention team training, which includes strategies to de-escalate encounters with people in crisis to safely resolve the situation.
The Department recently mandated that all Captains, Commanders, Deputy Chiefs, and the Chief attend an advanced implicit-bias training program, provided by the San Francisco Human Rights Commission in conjunction with the Mayor’s Office. The Department is currently developing implicit-bias training both for the Basic Academy and as part of ongoing advanced professional training for current officers.
Recruits learn about other topics, including policing in the community, EEO & discrimination/harassment, the city’s homeless community and the Civil Sidewalk Ordinance, transgender community, cultural competency, and hate crimes. Recruits and veteran officers also study racial profiling, interpersonal communications and Blue Courage.
SFPD also emphasizes training to help officers interact effectively with youth. Recruits participate in a variety of youth engagement programs. In calendar year 2015 alone, four Academy classes participated in more than two dozen different on-and-off duty youth engagement activities, such as programs at, or including, Mo’ Magic, Bayview Hunters Point YMCA, Make-A-Wish Greater Bay Area and holiday events citywide.
In addition, as recommended by the San Francisco Youth Commission, the Police Department publishes a “Know Your Rights” brochure in several languages for young people, which is distributed to schools and youth organizations. The brochure provides a summary of the rights of youth in regard to detention, consensual contact, Miranda Rights, and rights for limited-English-speakers.
Please click here to learn more about the SFPD Training Division and how the Department is meeting the recommendations of The President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing.