During a recent two-week trial run of new state requirements, San Diego Police and San Diego County Sheriff’s deputies stopped Hispanic and black drivers at a higher rate than their share of the local population. Both agencies discouraged comparing the numbers to local demographics. The data also showed room for improvement with the new system, meant to track and deter racial profiling.

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.