Family Violence Council - February 20, 2019 - Minutes

Meeting Date: 
February 20, 2019 - 3:00pm

Family Violence Council:

Addressing Violence throughout the Lifespan



Wednesday, February 20, 2019

3:00 pm – 5:00 pm

400 McAllister, room 617

San Francisco, CA 94102



Chief of Adult Probation, or designee: Chief Karen Fletcher

Chief of Juvenile Probation, or designee: Paula Hernandez

Chief of the Fire Department, or designee: Mindy Talmadge

Director of Department of Aging and Adult Services, or designee: Akiles Ceron 

Director of Department of Homelessness and Supportive Housing, or designee: Elisabet Medina

Director of Domestic Violence Consortium: Beverly Upton

Director of Elder Abuse Forensic Center, or designee: Shawna Reeves

Director of San Francisco Child Abuse Council, or designee: Jenny Pearlman

Superintendent of San Francisco Unified School District, or designee: Thea Anderson

Presiding Judge of the Superior Court, or designee: Hon. Alexandra Robert Gordon

Director of Human Services Agency, or designee: Barrett Johnson

Director of Department of Children, Youth, and Their Families, or designee: Aumijo Gomes

Officer of First 5 San Francisco, or designee: Shelli Rawlings Fein

District Attorney, or designee: Brad Allred

Director of Department of Child Support Services, or designee: Lisa Saporito

Chief of Police, or designee: Cpt. Sergio Chin

Sheriff, or designee: Matthew Freeman

Director of Department of Animal Care and Control, or designee: Judy Choy

Executive Director of Department of Emergency Management, or designee: Heather Grives

President of Commission on the Status of Women, or designee: Dr. Emily Murase   

Director of Department of Public Health, or designee: Dr. Leigh Kimberg

Chief Medical Examiner of Medical Examiner’s Office, or designee: Ellen Moffatt


Absent: Mayor, or designee; President of the Board of Supervisors, or designee; Office of the Public Defender; Human Resources Director, or designee


Others Present:

Jana Taylor, Adult Probation; Chauncey Robinson, Adult Probation; Glen Fishman, Institute on Aging; Catherine Stefani, Supervisor District 2; Ellie Miller Hall, Legislative Aide for Supervisor Catherine Stefani; Honey Mahogany, Legislative Aide for Supervisor Matt Haney; Sgt. Inspector Antonio Flores, San Francisco Police Department; Elise Hansell, Department on the Status of Women; Elizabeth Newman, Department on the Status of Women; Adaeze Eze, Department on the Status of Women






I.            Call to Order/Agenda Changes [Emily Murase/Tony Flores]

II.           Trauma Informed Check-In

III.          Approval of Minutes

              November Minutes approved [Emily Murase/Tony Flores]


IV. Update on gun surrender programs at Adult Probation & Sheriff’s Department

  1. Adult Probation Update – Chief Karen Fletcher

Chief Karen Fletcher of the Adult Probation Department (APD) briefed the Family Violence Council on APD’s collaborative effort with the Sheriff’s Department to recover firearms from individuals convicted on domestic violence-related charges. The two departments are working under the authority of Proposition 63, a ballot initiative approved in November 2016 which, in part, created a court process to ensure that firearms are secured from individuals convicted of offenses prohibiting them from possessing firearms. The resulting changes requires courts to inform individuals upon conviction that they must relinquish their firearms, as well as assign probation officers to report on what offenders have done with their firearms. If the court finds that there is probable cause that an offender still has firearms, it must order that the firearms be removed.

Since January 2018, APD has received over 2,200 referrals from the courts, and though many of these referrals do not involve a firearm, the Department has handled 85 cases involving firearms in partnership with the Sheriff’s Department which has helped facilitate the transfer and surrender of weapons. There have been 2 cases which required the San Francisco Police Department or the Sheriff’s Department to write and execute search warrants. APD has also received funding for 4 probation officers and a supervisor to staff this unit.


  1. Sheriff’s Department Update – Undersheriff Matthew Freeman

Undersheriff Matthew Freeman updated the Family Violence Council on the progress of the Firearms Recovery Program which was created in November 2018. The program is part of the Sheriff’s Department’s efforts to ensure compliance with court-ordered firearms prohibitions. As part of this new program, the Sheriff’s Department’s civil deputies track, investigate, and enforce firearms prohibitions from individuals who have civil domestic violence protective orders against them.

Since November 1, 2018, there have been 116 domestic violence restraining orders received by the Sheriff’s Office for service, of which 76 orders were successfully served (3 service attempts are made for each domestic violence restraining order). There were 7 cases in which a restrained party owned firearms, and the Sheriff’s Department has accounted for firearms in all 7 of the cases through surrender to law enforcement or facilitating sale to a licensed gun dealer.


  1. Supervisor Catherine Stefani

Supervisor Catherine Stefani highlighted the Gun Violence Restraining Order law which was passed state-wide in 2014 and granted law enforcement or a family member the authority to request a court to issue a gun violence restraining order (GVRO) for a person considered to be a danger to themselves or others. Only a few orders have been issued in San Francisco despite the opportunity to use this statutory authority in recovering firearms from potential threats to the community.


The Department of Public Health expressed an interest in providing educational materials on gun violence restraining orders (GVROs), as well as the new Firearms Recovery Program, for hospitals and emergency departments interacting with victims of domestic violence. Survivors may be reluctant to disclose the presence of a gun- whether registered or unregistered- to law enforcement, and educational messages from health professionals may increase the likelihood that victims of domestic violence disclose the presence of a gun to law enforcement.

Action: Tri-chairs proposed writing a letter of support for increased staffing of Sheriff’s Department to best execute the mission of the Firearms Recovery Program.


V. Update on Family Violence Council Recommendations Involving SFPD - Captain Sergio Chin and Sergeant Inspector Antonio Flores

Captain Sergio Chin and Sergeant Inspector Antonio Flores of the San Francisco Police Department (SFPD) updated the Family Violence Council on SFPD’s progress on implementing the recommendations pertaining to their Department made in the Fiscal Year 2017 Family Violence in San Francisco Report.


Recommendation 2, Cross-referring domestic violence cases to Child Protective Services

  • The Advanced Officer training was previously completed through the State of California Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training (P.O.S.T.) portal, but SFPD has now shifted to more hands-on training on domestic violence cases, collaborating with the District Attorney’s Office. Greater emphasis is being placed on collecting relevant information at the time of incident.
  •  Cpt. Chin forwarded the supplemental forms to Beverly Upton of the Domestic Violence Council a few weeks ago, and it will be implemented in the DV Manual. The DV Supplemental Checklist is finished.
  • SFPD used Santa Clara and Long Beach as an example for updating some aspects of the DV manual
  • Brad Allred will read through the edits and inquiries made to the Manual by Commander Greg McEachern and meet with Sgt. Insp. Flores to review suggested changes. SFPD will send the DV Manual to the working group (DOSW, DVC, Department on Police Accountability, and FCS), after which they will return the manual to the Commander McEachern. The manual will then be submitted to the Police Commission.
  • Barrett Johnson of Family and Children’s Services (FCS) offered FCS’s help in the SFPD training process and suggested that an FCS representative be present when the manual is being reviewed.

ACTION: Elise will send over the most recent version of the manual that she received to Sgt. Inspt. Tony Flores. SFPD will send the most recent version to the working group for comments

              Recommendation 5, Ensure adequate and consistent staffing at the Special Victims Unit

  • There are 51 Sergeants dedicated to the SVU, but the unit consists of 11 different disciplines one of which is domestic violence. 28 Sergeants are currently dedicated to domestic violence, child abuse, and sexual assault cases, but the unit is expecting to lose a number of officers to retirement.

Recommendation 6, Ensure SFPD compliance with Family Code section 6228

  • Candy Hilder receives DGO incident reports in the SFPD.
  • A working group was established to bring SFPD back into compliance with Family Code section 6228.
  • SFPD website outlines how individuals can get a police report in various languages. Sgt. Insp. Antonio Flores of the San Francisco Police Department suggested that community-based organizations include links on their websites to these portals.

Recommendation 7, Implementation of SFPD/APS cross-reporting protocol for investigating elder abuse

  • The elder abuse cross reporting protocol is currently with Deputy Chief Michael Redmond and Police Chief William Scott.
  • SFPD staff receive reports emailed from Child Protective Services (CPS) and Adult Protective Services (APS) and determine which cases should be assigned.
  • Oftentimes the narrative portion of a report from CPS or APS does not contain enough details conveying the severity of the case, and it is important that this information is included so that reports get assigned.

Recommendation 8, Finalize DV Manual for SFPD

  • The DV Manual is currently under review with the District Attorney’s Office. Brad Allred of the District Attorney’s Office and Sgt. Insp. Flores will review the edits made to the Manual by Commander McEachern, after which it will be sent to the working group (DOSW, DVC, Department on Police Accountability, and FCS), returned to the Commander, and finally submitted to the Police Commission for approval.

Recommendation 22, Disaggregation of data for child abuse allegations perpetrated by an adult other than a family member

  • Captain Chin expressed his approval of this recommendation, though he explained to the Council that the disaggregation of data on child abuse allegations perpetrated by an adult other than a family member would have to be tracked through the Crime Data Warehouse database since SVU does not have the technological capacity to track this data. Cpt. Chin also raised the possibility of first responders requesting this information while filling out the incidence report.


VI. Family Violence Council Presentation at UN COSW Dr. Emily Murase

Dr. Emily Murase of the Department on the Status of Women (DOSW) briefed the Family Violence Council on the tri-chairs’ participation in a panel that will be hosted by DOSW at the upcoming 63rd session of the NGO United Nations Commission on the Status of Women forum. The event is part of a parallel session held at the UN, and the Family Violence Council will be presenting some of the strategies our Council is implementing to address family violence.


VII. Improving Tracking of Outcomes in Batterer and Child Abuse Intervention Programs – Adult Probation Department

Chief Karen Fletcher of Adult Probation Department (APD) explained APD’s responsibilities in overseeing San Francisco’s Batterer Intervention Programs (BIP) through determining whether a program meets the standards set for BIPs.


Chief Fletcher also expressed her support of Recommendation from the Fiscal Year 2017 Family Violence in San Francisco Report which called for increased accountability around Batterer Intervention Programs. APD is adopting a new case management system for collecting data that will be better be able to track outcomes across certified BIPs and Child Abuse Intervention Programs. Currently, APD can track the number of referrals sent to the Department and the number of motions to revoke probation due to failure to complete these programs


APD has also begun requesting information from BIPs around the number of people enrolled in the program, the number of terminations, as well as the number of successful completions. The Department is updating the standards of the BIP guidelines, requiring shelter-based trainings and reviewing expectations of the program’s curriculum which it will share with these programs.


Chief Fletcher also informed the Council that AB 372, adopted in September 2018, modified a section of the California Penal Code related to domestic violence programs, allowing 6 different counties (Napa, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Clara, Cruz, Yolo) to participate in a pilot program that offers an alternative to BIPs for individuals convicted of domestic violence. The bill requires the alternative program to meet specific standards and collect data that will be reported to the Legislature.


The new Supervision Director for Domestic Violence of the Adult Probation Department Chauncey Robinson was introduced to the group. Her responsibilities will in part center around ensuring probation officers are following up with orders for compliance and that individuals enrolled in BIPs are attending their classes. Chief Fletcher also informed the Council of her appointment to the Judicial Council of California’s Violence Against Women Education Project as the Chief Probation Officers of California’s (CPOC) representative, in part due to the Council’s work with courts and tribal groups around domestic violence, stalking, sexual assault, and human trafficking.


Finally, Chief Fletcher discussed the support that APD provides to the victims of individuals enrolled in BIP through APD’s Victims’ Services group which provides victims with guides and informs them of the enrollment of their intimate partner in a BIP.


VIII. Key Issues in Family Violence                                                                   

  1. Domestic Violence Update – Beverly Upton

Beverly Upton of the Domestic Violence Consortium updated the group on the conversation occurring around gun safety and domestic violence, mentioning the upcoming Advocacy Day that Moms Demand Action are holding in Sacramento on March 18, 2019.


Beverly Upton also informed the group on the collaboration between community organizations and the Mayor’s Office on Disability in amending SFPD’s deaf and hard of hearing protocol, not only for domestic violence, but also for traffic stops. The DGO is being developed around this protocol and will soon be approved. SFPD is also test piloting an app on their cell phones for officers responding to incidents involving individuals with Limited English Proficiency.


The Consortium is also advocating for increased funding this budget season to keep shelters and crisis lines open.


  1. Elder Abuse Update – Shawna Reeves

Shawna Reeves of the Institute on Aging (IOA) briefed the Council on a campaign IOA launched on the week of Valentine’s Day called Costly Relationships: Breaking the Bank and Your Heart. The campaign aims to raise awareness around online dating scams that target elder adults.


IOA is also working to increase collaboration with domestic violence and child abuse groups in response to recommendations from the FY 2017 Family Violence in San Francisco Report, particularly with World Elder Awareness Month approaching in June.


Finally, IOA will be hosting Dr. Laura Mosqueda, the Dean of The Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California, and Dr. Ellen Moffatt, of the Medical Examiner's Office, who will be giving a presentation on forensic markers of elder abuse and neglect as well as opioid abuse among older adults.  The audience will be ADAs, SFPD, APS workers and other stakeholders wishing to learn more about these issues.


  1. Child Abuse Update – Jenny Pearlman

Jenny Pearlman of Safe & Sound updated the Council on their efforts to reduce the occurrence of child abuse on the county, state and national level.


Pearlman informed the group that Safe and Sound and the California Child Welfare Directors Association held a prevention services summit in late-January, collaborating with the Department of Children, Youth and Their Families, First Five, and Family and Children’s Services. Safe and Sound is looking to create a county-wide prevention plan, particularly with Child Abuse Prevention Month coming up in April.


On the state level, Katie Albright of Safe and Sound has been working with the California Family Resource Association on introducing legislation in the state legislature on Family Resource Centers, which will consolidate various resources for children and families into one center. Safe and Sound will also be releasing a report on the economics of child abuse in California in the coming weeks.


Finally, Pearlman informed the group that earlier in February, the U.S. Congress passed the Victims of Child Abuse Act, allocating $2.5 billion towards combating the occurrence of child abuse.

IX. Public Comment

  • Honey Mahogany from Supervisor Matt Haney’s office discussed the Supervisor’s concern over open air drug use and dealing in the Tenderloin.
  • Dr. Emily Murase highlighted upcoming events including: 3/1, Women’s History Month Event with Mayor London Breed; 3/5, Friends of the Commission on the Status of Women hosting an event on the Mother’s Building which has been neglected; 3/19 The Board of Supervisors will be recognizing women of the year; 3/20 the Queen’s Bench will be hosting a panel on Women in Decision-Making Roles.
  • Ellie Miller-Hall from Supervisor Catherine Stefani’s office emphasized the importance of public safety, mental health, and substance abuse issues to the Supervisor’s office. Hall also discussed the importance of continued advocacy, particularly with the upcoming budget season, for programs that need funding.

X. Adjournment             

Family Violence Council

Quarterly Meeting Schedule 2019

Wednesdays, 3:00 pm – 5:00 pm; 400 McAllister Street, Room 617

May 15, 2019

August 21, 2019

November 13, 2019