Please note:  City Hall and most departments/facilities will be closed from December 23rd through January 2nd. We will resume all services on Tuesday, January 3, 2023.

FAQ Topic: Police Incident

Q: How can I (a community member) provide feedback?

A: We invite members of the public to submit public comment at a City Council meeting. There are multiple ways you can make sure your comments are heard and considered by our City Council. You can find more information here. You can also Submit your comments by email to city.clerk@cityofsanrafael.org. The City will be hosting … Continued

Q: Will the City consider an all-civilian police oversight board?

A: Yes. The City is currently exploring all options to assist the process of building community trust. The City has contracted with Francine Tournour, who is associated with the National Association for Civilian Oversight of Law Enforcement (“NACOLE”). Ms. Tournour also serves as the Inspector General of Sacramento County. She has extensive experience working on … Continued

Q: How was the investigation firm selected?

A: The City Attorney, Rob Epstein, selected the independent investigator after reaching out to numerous experts in the field. Mr. Paul Henry brings the experience of 27 years as a Santa Rosa police officer, a role from which he retired as a lieutenant. Mr. Henry has conducted more than 150 internal affairs investigations and reviews … Continued

Q: How long will it take?

A: The City is required to conduct a thorough, neutral, unbiased investigation. The City’s sole interests are in discovering the truth, conducting a lawful process, and ensuring that any potential disciplinary decisions – including, and up to, termination of any employee – will withstand procedural challenges by the employee, their attorney, and their union. Given … Continued

Q: Can the officers challenge disciplinary action?

A: Non-probationary officers legally have “Skelly” rights, which are due process rights. Before discharging or imposing significant discipline upon a non-probationary officer, the SRPD must provide the officer the opportunity to respond in writing or orally at a “Skelly” hearing, which is an informal meeting before a Skelly officer. After listening to and considering the … Continued

Q: Who decides what, if any, disciplinary action will be taken?

The Police Chief will review the report and the investigator’s findings and make the initial determination — on behalf of the City — as to what disciplinary action, if any, should be imposed on the involved officers, including and up to the potential termination of their employment.

Q: How does an internal affairs (“IA”) investigation work?

A: The first step is for the investigator to compare the officer’s actions to the San Rafael Police Department (SRPD) current policies. The investigator will narrow the scope of the investigation to any potential or alleged misconduct, based on SRPD policy. The first step in an IA is for the investigator to determine all the … Continued

Q: Is an investigation being done?

A: Yes. Anytime a police officer’s conduct is called into question, the City must conduct an administrative investigation, also referred to as an Internal Affairs investigation (“IA”). In order to legally issue any disciplinary action against an officer, the City must first follow a process set by law, known as the Public Safety Officers Procedural … Continued

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