In a year that saw widespread uprisings against police brutality, it should come as no surprise that the nation’s 10th largest city overwhelmingly voted to expand civilian oversight of local law enforcement.
Measure G, which grants greater authority to the San Jose Independent Police Auditor, garnered 78 percent of the vote, according to the latest returns, which account for about 60 percent of all ballots as of this morning.
The measure also adds members to the Planning commission and allows the City Council to establish timelines for redistricting if U.S. Census results are late.
Mayor Sam Liccardo, who wanted to bolster police oversight as part of his nine-point reform plan, applauded the proposal’s decisive passage.
“I’m grateful to our San Jose voters and San Jose police officers who overwhelmingly supported Measure G,” he wrote in a statement this morning. “History will view Measure G as a critical step forward in our efforts to expand the authority of our Independent Police Auditor and boost police accountability and transparency.”
From here on out, the police auditor in San Jose will have the power to review officer-involved shootings and severe use-of-force incidents and SJPD-initiated investigations against officers—both of which were off limits before.
Meanwhile, the Planning Commission—which has come under fire in recent years for its lack of racial diversity and overrepresentation of affluent neighborhoods—will increase from seven to 11 members, with the City Council appointing one from each council district in addition to an at-large member.
The San Jose measure comes amid strong regional support for police reform after the California Legislature failed to pass a litany of police accountability bills, including one that would oust cops who engage in serious wrongdoing.
In all, voters passed six measures throughout the Bay Area—in Oakland, San Francisco, Berkeley and Sonoma County—that ramp up independent monitoring of police.