Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations
Watch Live

San Diego’s commission on police practices still in limbo

 May 22, 2024 at 5:00 AM PDT

Good Morning, I’m Debbie Cruz….it’s Wednesday, May 22nd.


The latest on San Diego’s new commission on police practices. More on that next. But first... let’s do the headlines….


More psychiatric care services for people who are low-income are coming to the county.

The county Board of Supervisors yesterday (Tuesday) approved a proposed agreement with UC-SD Health.

The agreement would provide acute psychiatric care and up to 45 additional beds for eligible Medi-Cal patients at the university's East Campus Medical Center.

According to a recent study, one in 13 county residents living in low-income households are living with a serious mental illness.

The partnership is expected to strengthen the behavioral health workforce and decrease the gap in available psychiatric beds.

The board’s interim chief administrative officer will negotiate with UC-SD Health officials and update the board before a formal agreement is approved.


The county Board of Supervisors also voted yesterday (Tuesday) to accept nearly 20-million-dollars from FEMA for a migrant transition day center.

The center will help immigrants entering the U-S travel to their final destinations.

Supervisors also approved a provision that requires nonprofit contractors to accept all migrants, to ensure they don't end up on the streets.

Since mid-September, more than 136-thousand migrants have been released from C-B-P custody in the county.


San Diegans will have a chance to learn more about the county’s more than 8-point-4-billion-dollar recommended budget at two upcoming community sessions.

At the meetings, you can find out how the budget process works, ask questions and give feedback.

County staff will talk about funding priorities including behavioral health, homelessness, housing and public safety.

The first session will be in person tomorrow (Thursday) at the County Operations Center in Kearny Mesa.

You can stop by any time between 5-30 and 7-30 p-m.

The second session will be held over Zoom at 6 p-m next Wednesday.

For more information, including the Zoom link, visit the Engage San Diego County website.


From KPBS, you’re listening to San Diego News Now. Stay with me for more of the local news you need.


It’s been one year since San Diego's city council appointed members to the new commission on police practices.

Investigative reporter Scott Rodd found the civilian oversight group is still trying to get its footing.

In 2020, San Diego voters overwhelmingly approved Measure B. It required the creation of a commission with the power to independently investigate complaints against officers and subpoena witnesses. But it took until last May for the City Council to appoint commissioners. TRAN “There have been some challenges, certainly.” Gloria Tran is chair of the commission. TRAN “That's to be expected when you're building a commission relatively from scratch.” Most staff positions remain unfilled. And the commission is still working on draft procedures for launching independent investigations. TRAN  “Obviously, I wish we were even further. But it's a city thing. So some of the bureaucracy has held us up.” Turnover has also been a struggle. The 25-member commission has had to fill more than 10 vacancies this year. But Tran says the commission is also keeping up with reviewing the police department’s internal investigations into its officers…which was a struggle for the city’s previous civilian oversight board. SOC


One of the city of San Diego’s safe parking lots offers families a safe space to stay while finding permanent housing.

Education reporter M.G. Perez tells us, that’s not all they offer.

18-year-old Zora Murry is just two weeks away from her high school graduation. She and her family have spent the past few months living in a camper at the city’s Rose Canyon Safe Parking Lot…off I-5 near Clairemont. It’s the support she needed to concentrate on her studies and her plan to attend community college. “Needing help is not necessarily people feeling bad for you…it’s just people generally want to help you…so take the help.” Volunteers with Jewish Family Service who are on site…helped Zora apply for financial aid so she can attend Miramar College starting this summer. Rose Canyon is one of six safe parking lots run by the San Diego Jewish Family Service…four of them funded by the City of San Diego. MGP KPBS News.


In January there were about 10,600 people experiencing homelessness throughout San Diego County.

That’s according to the annual point in time count results, released today (Wednesday).

Health reporter Heidi de Marco has more about what the numbers show.

In January, volunteers set out at 4 am to canvas the county and conduct the annual Point-in-Time Count, which assesses the number of individuals experiencing homelessness. The data show a 3% rise in homelessness overall in the county compared to last year. But a 44 percent rise in people living in their cars. Jordan Beane, chief of staff for the Regional Taskforce of Homelessness says the increase in individuals and families living in their cars is contributing to the rise. We've had 25 months straight, with more people experiencing homelessness for the first time than exiting homelessness. And so these numbers aren't a surprise to us but the opportunities are there to continue to make a real impact and decrease the amount of suffering we're seeing here in San Diego County. Beane says the recent camping ban may have moved people to the outskirts of the city of San Diego. The city shows a 6 percent increase in people living unsheltered from 2023. Heidi de Marco, KPBS News.


Tourism in San Diego is still recovering from the pandemic.

Reporter Katie Anastas says industry leaders are welcoming the start of the summer season.

Three, two, one… The San Diego Tourism Authority kicked off the summer season with streamers, roller skaters and local mascots at the Natural History Museum in Balboa Park. Chief operating officer Kerri Kapich says tourism supports 1 in 8 jobs in San Diego. KAPICH When our tourism industry thrives, the entire San Diego region thrives. It also funds public services. The city says more than $170 million in hotel occupancy taxes went into San Diego’s general fund last year. More than 32 million people are expected to visit San Diego in 2024. That’s slightly more than last year, but still a few million shy of 2019 levels. Katie Anastas, KPBS News.


Two years after it was bought by Japanese beermaker Sapporo, Stone Brewing showed off the first phase of its expansion project yesterday (Tuesday).

North County reporter Alexander Nguyen was there.

Southern California’s largest brewery is about to get bigger.  Sapporo-Stone has invested 60 million dollars in expanding its facilities  … 40 million in its Richmond, Virginia location and 20 million here in Escondido. The expansion will double the brewery’s capacity, meaning more beer can be brewed here. But for the city of Escondido, it means so much more than that. Dane White is the mayor of Escondido. “For us, it's jobs, employment opportunities, revenue for the city” With the expansion … Sapporo-Stone added 125 jobs locally. White says that’s helping the city close its budget deficit. Dane White Escondido Mayor “Absolutely. It does help solve it. Number one, employment, and number two, sales tax. Sales tax is the largest revenue source for the city. Having this big of this part of the economy right here in Escondido certainly helps.” The expansion means that all Sapporo beers sold in the U-S will be brewed in this country. AN/KPBS.


KPBS News is out with a new six-part video podcast. The first episode premieres today (May 22).

And joining me to talk about it, is creator and host Beth Accomando, who is also an arts reporter here at KPBS.

Beth, welcome to the San Diego News Now podcast.

So, the video podcast is called “Stripper Energy: Fighting Back from the Fringes.” Give us the elevator pitch, what’s it about? 

How did you find out about Kata’s life story?

Why was it important to you to highlight the experiences of dancers in the 60s, 70s and 80s? And why is it relevant to today’s day and age?

Can you tell me what it was like creating this series? Can you take me and our listeners behind the scenes of it all?

Was there anything that you were surprised to learn?

What do you hope listeners take away from the podcast?

Lastly, where can people watch the series?

TAG: I’ve been speaking with KPBS arts reporter Beth Accomando, the creator and host of the new KPBS video podcast “Stripper Energy: Fighting Back from the Fringes.”

Beth, it was so nice chatting with you. I’m looking forward to watching your new podcast.


That’s it for the podcast today. As always you can find more San Diego news online at KPBS dot org. Join us again tomorrow for the day’s top stories. I’m Debbie Cruz. Thanks for listening and have a great Wednesday.

Ways To Subscribe
It’s been one year since San Diego's city council appointed members to the new commission on police practices and the civilian oversight group is still trying to get its footing. In other news, one of the city of San Diego’s safe parking lots offers families a safe space to stay while finding permanent housing, but that’s not all they offer. Plus, our KPBS arts reporter joins the podcast to talk about her new video podcast called, “Stripper Energy: Fighting Back from the Fringes.”