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Police Bureau ended the most active list of gang members and associates

News Article
This is a one-year follow-up to our 2018 report, "Gang Crime Investigations: Lack of accountability and transparency reduced the community's trust in police."

In the year since our audit of the Gang Enforcement Team, the Police Bureau has made some progress in implementing our four recommendations for investigations. The Bureau discontinued the most active list, for which it had no policy and few safeguards. The Gang Enforcement Team also improved its case management but needs to publicly report results.

We will follow up again in one year to check if the remaining recommendations are implemented. In early 2019, the Bureau restructured the Gang Enforcement Team as the Gun Violence Reduction Team.

We audited how well the Police Bureau’s Gang Enforcement Team was meeting its goals and what the results of its work were. We issued two audit reports in 2018 about gang enforcement patrols and gang crime investigations.

Our audit of gang crime investigations found that the Gang Enforcement Team was collecting and sharing information about people’s gang associations, but these practices were not accountable. We recommended the Bureau adopt a policy for information collection and publicly report results.

Recommendation Status: Resolved

2018 Recommendation

The Police Bureau should review current practices for creating the most active list against legal requirements.

2019 Auditor's Status Update

The Bureau said it discontinued the most active list.

Recommendation Status: In Process

2018 Recommendation

The Police Bureau should adopt official policies and procedures for collecting and disseminating information about people with gang relationships. If the Police Bureau uses more than one method, each should have a stated purpose that differentiates it from other methods and have its own policy.

2019 Auditor's Status Update

Instead of adopting a new standard operating procedure for the Gang Enforcement Team, the Bureau began developing a directive on managing criminal intelligence files that will apply to all divisions. The Bureau circulated a draft of the directive for public comment in October 2018. It anticipates completion in October 2019.

Recommendation Status: In Process

2018 Recommendation

The Police Bureau should ensure that policies related to collecting information about people’s gang relationships include:

  1. A statement of purpose
  2. A description of the type of information gathered, how it will be analyzed, and how police will document reasonable suspicion
  3. Safeguards to ensure each record is complete and accurate
  4. Safeguards to control access and keep the information secure
  5. A requirement to maintain auditable records that complies with records retention policies
  6. A requirement to regularly evaluate the program for compliance with policy

2019 Auditor's Status Update

The October 2018 draft directive included a requirement for reasonable suspicion, safeguards for completeness and accuracy, access and security safeguards, records retention, and regular review, as we recommended.

But the draft did not include a statement of purpose and description of the type of information to be gathered and analyses and documentation of reasonable suspicion.

Recommendation Status: In Process

2018 Recommendation

To improve the management of Gang Enforcement investigations, the Police Bureau should:

  1. Track the clearance rate for the Gang Enforcement Team’s investigations; set a goal for the clearance rate; and publicly report the outcome
  2. Track caseload by detective regularly and rebalance workload as needed
  3. Maintain accurate case status in the records management system and other case management systems and use this information to track the timeliness of cases.

2019 Auditor's Status Update

The team revised a standard operating procedure in April 2018 to address this recommendation. It had a clearance rate goal of 30 percent for 2018 and 2019. Investigators said they cleared 41 of 140 cases (29 percent) in 2018. Caseload appears more balanced among detectives.

The Bureau has not yet publicly reported the clearance goals and actual results for the team.

View the original 2018 audit report.

Visit our online dashboard to track the status of recommendations from other reports


Minh Dan Vuong

Performance Auditor II