An understaffed SDPD has been forced to make tough decisions with limited resources. Officers still respond to emergencies ahead of the department’s goal, but the department is failing to meet its own standards with every other type of call that comes in.

There may not be one single explanation for SDPD’s failure to hire enough officers, but there is one reason Police Chief Shelley Zimmerman keeps returning to: scrutiny from the media. It’s an argument she’s made many times – and one for which she’s consistently declined to provide evidence.

The San Diego Police Department is still conducting curfew sweeps, which happen largely in certain neighborhoods. The department has long held that the sweeps are meant to keep young people safe and to deter crime. Here’s what happened when a VOSD reporter joined SDPD for a curfew sweep ride-along, then returned weeks later to experience another curfew sweep from a community resident’s perspective.

Security officers believed Allen Koka was trespassing when he showed up to his cleaning job at MTS headquarters in 2014. They arrested him in a violent encounter even after a supervisor confirmed he worked there. Among the MTS officers involved were two who have been accused of violence before and remain on the job, a joint investigation by Voice of San Diego and NBC 7 Investigates has found.

The San Diego Police Department has faced major problems with recruitment and retention. Brian Marvel and Jeff Jordon of the Police Officers Association join us on the podcast this week to talk through a different approach to staffing problems.