SFPD Dinosaurs Moving Out of Electronic Dark Ages

SFPD, the 11th largest police department in the United States, just got email. Does this seem a little absurd to you?

We think it is – but at least it’s a small step forward.

police department email

The San Francisco Police Department has finally granted email addresses to patrol officers. Yet one SFPD Lieutenant - who refused to be named - told us that officers aren’t even allowed to use their new email addresses until more bureaucratic “kinks” are worked out. According to the Examiner, Chief Greg Suhr hopes the system details will be sorted out by next month.

With its mission statement of maintaining “open communication with all the communities we serve,” we wonder: how has SFPD been communicating without email for all these years? Think papers thumbtacked on bulletin boards... Seriously.

It’s Been a Long Journey Into the 21st Century.

The SFPD began installing basic email and voicemail systems in two stations two years ago. The rest of the system was implemented last year with only members of the command staff, captains, administrative staff and specialized police units being given access to email.

The Santa Clara Police Department is already using smartphones to identify criminals. And Los Angeles just received a federal grant to help take the crime mapping system Comstat to the next level by using the LAPD's data stream to predict future crime patterns.

So, while we commend the SFPD for finally embracing digital communication, the transition is barely Gov 2.0. We think it’s more like Gov 0.01...

For now, we’ll celebrate by sending the patrol officers “Welcome to the 21st Century” emails... Well, maybe as soon as the “kinks” are worked out.

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