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San Diego City Council appoints Paul Parker as executive director of Police Practices Commission

San Diego’s City Council on Tuesday appointed a new executive director for the Commission on Police Practices. KPBS reporter Scott Rodd said this was a significant step for the police oversight body that had struggled to gain its footing in recent years.

San Diego’s City Council on Tuesday named Paul Parker as the new executive director for the Commission on Police Practices. The appointment is a big step for a commission that struggled to find its footing in recent years.

Why it matters

In 2020, San Diego voters overwhelmingly approved a ballot measure creating the Commission on Police Practices.

The commission was tasked with reviewing complaints against police officers and launching independent investigations. But it took years for the City Council to appoint permanent members. During that time, the commission’s work of reviewing complaints against officers and providing feedback to the department ground to a halt.


The commission is keeping up with reviewing complaints, but it’s still working out how it will investigate officers.

Supporters believe Parker’s appointment will help fast-track the commission’s oversight work.

Closer look

Parker is well-known in San Diego as an expert in police accountability. He had previously led the county’s Citizens' Law Enforcement Review Board. But resigned in frustration earlier this year after unsuccessfully pushing for stronger safety measures in county jails.

Councilmembers praised Parker’s qualifications ahead of the appointment vote.

“He is uniquely qualified for this critical role,” said District 7 Councilmember Raul Campillo. “He’s demonstrated steadfast commitment to accountability and transparency, and of course building community trust.”


District 4 Councilmember Henry Foster III thanked Parker for his willingness to step into the executive director role.

“But I do have expectations,” he said.

He later added, “You have very important work to do, and we have improvements that we need to make when it comes to transparency and trust.”