SAN DIEGO (KGTV) -- The effort to establish a new independent police commission in the City of San Diego appears to be heading to victory.
As of Wednesday afternoon, Measure B was leading with roughly 75% voting yes.
There is currently a Community Review Board on Police Practices, but supporters of Measure B said that body is far from independent.
“Their legal council is the city attorney, who represents both the Police Officers Association and the CRB so it represents a true conflict of interest,” Maresa Talbert with San Diegans for Justice told ABC 10News back in June.
Proponents of the new Commission on Police Practices said they have been waiting for years for this to be a reality.
“A lot of people will look at this and think, oh look, it happened overnight. Well, no,” said Martha Sullivan, one of the early members of Women Occupy San Diego. “It took nine years of very persistent [and] consistent, research, education, [and] lobbying.”
One of the goals of Women Occupy San Diego ended up being police reform after the Occupy San Diego protests in 2011 and 2012. Sullivan said they submitted complaints to the review board at that time, but many of those complaints were lost.
Since then, the push for an independent police commission grew. “This measure is the epitome of strength in numbers. It is the epitome of community support,” said Andrea St. Julian with San Diegans for Justice. She helped write the charter amendment that ultimately became Measure B.
The Community Review Board will be dissolved and the new commission will be formed, once election results are certified. The commission will have independent counsel, subpoena power, and the ability to review officer misconduct and make recommendations.
“They'll have greatly expanded powers, a lot more responsibility, and a lot more freedom to do the right thing,” St. Julian said.
Jack Schaeffer, President of the San Diego Police Officers Association, said the POA took a neutral stance on Measure B.
“We trusted the voters to decide on the type of oversight that they believe is necessary. We believe this election provided them an opportunity to do just that,” Schaeffer said in a statement to ABC 10News. “SDPOA will continue to support oversight in whatever form the community as a whole demands.”