Police fire tear gas in downtown San Diego
Police fire tear gas on Broadway in downtown San Diego on May 31. Courtesy OnScene.TV

The San Diego Police Department is developing “a new and more robust de-escalation policy” as a result of feedback from residents who have questioned police tactics surrounding use of force, San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer said Wednesday.

The mayor said the department has been developing the new policy since last week based on feedback received at hearings held by the city’s Citizens Advisory Board on Police/Community Relations, Community Review Board on Police Practices, and Human Relations Commission.

Faulconer said such a policy was important to “give officers clear rules of the road on how to safely control a situation and resolve it with lower levels of force.”

Without disclosing specifics of what the policy would entail, Faulconer said it would go into effect “immediately” once completed, and that he and SDPD Chief David Nisleit would unveil details next week.

Many have questioned the department’s use of tear gas and other non- lethal projectiles to disperse crowds, most notably at the May 31 protest in downtown San Diego.

Faulconer’s announcement also comes two days after the San Diego City Council approved a budget that included an increase to police department funding amid hundreds of phone calls from residents demanding the council not include the budget increase, or cut as much $100 million from the SDPD budget. The budget was approved by a vote of 8-1 Monday night after nearly 12 hours of public comment.

— City News Service