San Francisco police will suspend the department's much-criticized collaboration with FBI counterterrorism efforts, police said Wednesday, in an announcement that was celebrated by civil liberties and immigration advocates who have long called for stricter oversight of local participation in federal enforcement.
The announcement comes as San Francisco moves to disengage from the federal government under the Trump administration, especially in regard to the president's directives on immigration and the treatment of Muslims, reports the San Francisco Chronicle.
The Joint Terrorism Task Force, which has two full-time city officers assigned to it, was established in 2007, when the police force entered into an agreement with the FBI that authorized intelligence-gathering by San Francisco officers of people engaged in First Amendment activities such as religious services, protests, and political assemblies.
Police officials said they were suspending participation in the Joint Terrorism Task Force because the memorandum of understanding on it was reaching its 10th year. Under the City Charter, all contracts over 10 years must be approved by the Board of Supervisors.
But police officials said they were also planning to work with the Police Commission to update guidelines on investigating First Amendment activities, a department general order that came into question around the task force investigations, as well as other general orders regarding immigration issues.
"We are committed to community policing," Deputy Chief Michael Redmond said at Wednesday's Police Commission meeting. "We want to work collaboratively with the stakeholders when the work begins on the general orders."