Justice Department to conduct review of San Diego Police Department

SAN DIEGO - The U.S. Justice Department announced Monday that it will conduct a thorough review of the San Diego Police Department.

Laura Duffy, the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of California, said at a press conference that the review comes at a time when some officers are facing allegations of "criminal conduct ranging from drunken driving to rape."

She said the review will restore SDPD's "reputation as an innovative and trustworthy force."

"This review is a positive step forward in that direction," Duffy said. "It is a positive step forward in rebuilding the crucial relationship between the officers and those that they are sworn to serve."

Duffy was joined by San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer, City Attorney Jan Goldsmith and Police Chief Shelley Zimmerman who welcomed the news.

Faulconer called the review a "necessary partnership."

"We are talking about ensuring the public trust and confidence," he said. "These rebuilding steps are absolutely necessary."

Zimmerman said news of the review improved morale within the Police Department.

"We welcome this," she said. "We want to know how we can prevent hiring somebody that will discredit this badge."

The review, which will be funded by the DOJ, will be conducted by the department's Community Oriented Police Services office and is expected to take anywhere from six to eight months.

Duffy said the process will include an examination of the hiring process and mechanisms in place to review claims of misconduct.

The office will also provide recommendations for improvement after the review is complete.

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