City Council
The City Council considers applicants for the new Commission on Police Practices. Image from livestream

The San Diego City Council voted Monday to appoint 25 initial members of a new Commission on Police Practices created by voters in 2020.

Over a four-hour period, the council heard from many of the 63 applicants before voting for each seat. The appointees still must pass a background check and attend training before the commission can begin work.

“As chair of the city of San Diego Public Safety Committee, I am excited that we are one step closer to implementing bold, robust, and transparent police oversight,” said Councilmember Marni von Wilpert.

“I am confident the new commissioners will bring valuable and diverse expertise and perspectives to the table, and I am eager for them to get to work as soon as possible,” she added.

The new commission, authorized by ballot Measure B, is intended to ensure transparency, accountability, and to foster trust between the community and the San Diego Police Department. It was added to the ballot in the wake of the Black Lives Matter protests in 2020.

There are nine at-large seats, nine seats corresponding to each council district, five seats for low- and moderate-income representatives and two seats for youth. Terms for the initial members were divided at random between one year and two years.

The council has been criticized for delays in establishing the new commission, and the current body has faced an increasing workload as members resign.

Council President Sean Elo-Rivera said creating the new commission required significant time to be “in line with what the will of voters was but also in line with all the legal requirements.” He said he did not yet have an official timeline for when the new commission will begin work.

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.