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Independent Police Auditor

Independent Police Auditor

San Jose, CA, USA

San Jose, CA, USA

City of San José

Greg Nelson and Bryan Noblett


Lead Recruiter

Independent Police Auditor

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The City of San José, one of the nation’s largest and most innovative cities, seeks a committed attorney to serve as its next Independent Police Auditor. This opportunity comes at a time of recently expanded scope and responsibility in the office.


Known as the “Capital of Silicon Valley,” the City of San José plays a vital economic and cultural role anchoring the world’s leading region of innovation. Encompassing approximately 181 square miles at the southern tip of the San Francisco Bay, San José is Northern California’s largest city and the 12th largest city in the nation. With nearly one million residents, San José is one of the most diverse large cities in the United States.  San José’s transformation into a global innovation center has resulted in one of the largest concentrations of technology companies and expertise in the world, including major tech headquarters like Cisco, Adobe, Zoom, Samsung, and eBay as well as start-ups and advanced manufacturing.  The City of San José has twice been named “The Most Innovative Large City in America” by the Center for Digital Government.

San José’s quality of life is unsurpassed. Surrounded by the Diablo and Santa Cruz mountain ranges and enjoying an average of 300 days of sunshine a year, residents have easy access to the beaches along the California coast including Santa Cruz, Monterey, and Carmel; Yosemite and Lake Tahoe in the Sierra Nevada; local and Napa Valley wine country, and the rich cultural and recreational life of the entire Bay region.

San José is proud of its rich cultural diversity and global connections, and the essential role the City plays in connecting residents and businesses to the nation and the world.


The Office of the Independent Police Auditor (IPA) was established by the San José City Council in 1993 with the enactment of a City ordinance codified in the San José Municipal Code. On November 6, 1996, the voters of San José amended the City Charter to establish the Office of the Independent Police Auditor as a permanent arm of city government.

The mission of the IPA is five-fold: (1) to provide independent oversight of and instill confidence in the complaint process through objective review of police misconduct investigations; (2) to review Police Department investigations of complaints against police officers to determine if the investigation was complete, thorough, objective and fair; (3) to conduct outreach to the San José community; (4) to propose thoughtful policy recommendations to the City Council; and (5) to strengthen the relationship between the San José Police Department (SJPD) and the community it serves.

The San José IPA is supported by a small team of approximately six extremely committed staff members, including an Assistant IPA who oversees the day-to-day operations. The Office received a proposed budget allocation of $1,628,604 for Fiscal Year 2023-2024.


In accordance with the City Charter, the IPA conducts objective reviews of police misconduct investigations. The role of the IPA is to provide independent oversight of and instill confidence in the complaint process. Each IPA appointment is for a term ending four (4) years from and after the date of expiration of the immediately preceding term.

Reporting to the City Council, the IPA is charged with the following responsibilities, but not limited to planning, organizing, and supervising the work of the IPA Office in the review of SJPD investigations of complaints against police officers to determine if the investigations were complete, thorough, objective, and fair; supervising the Office’s intakes of complaints from members of the public and engages with the community to instill public confidence in the IPA’s operations; reviewing all complaints from members of the public that allege excessive or unnecessary force by police officers; supervising the preparation of an annual public report to the City Council; participating in SJPD’s Officer-Involved Shooting Review Panel and In-Custody Death Training Review Panel; and meeting regularly with the Mayor and City Councilmembers.

The incoming IPA will possess unquestionable integrity and objectivity; be able to further the mission of the Office with impartiality and independent conviction under intense pressure and scrutiny; be politically astute but apolitical; have a solid record of community engagement working with a diverse community; and have the ability to establish and maintain a mutually respectful working relationship with the Police Department.


The following are the minimum qualifications for the Independent Police Auditor:

  • Education: Completion of a Bachelor’s Degree from an accredited college or university. A law degree from an accredited college or university is desirable.

  • Experience: A minimum of five years of experience in criminal law and criminal procedure. Must be experienced in or knowledgeable of investigations, legal research, and analyzing criminal, constitutional, labor, and civil rights law. Must have prior management and supervisor experience

  • Licensing: Be a member in good standing with a state bar. The selected applicant may be required to obtain a California Bar license.

  • Special Requirements: (1) Has not been a sworn law enforcement officer (e.g. police officer, reserve officer, probation officer, parole officer, or DEA agent), for at least ten years prior to appointment as the Independent Police Auditor, and (2) Does not have any immediate family members (defined as spouse, parent, domestic partner, sibling, child or grandparent) who are sworn law enforcement officers with any law enforcement agency.


The salary range for this position is up to $300,064 per year. This position also receives an approximate five percent (5%) ongoing non-pensionable compensation in addition to the compensation listed above. The actual salary will be determined by the final candidate’s qualifications and experience.

The City provides an excellent array of benefits, including a competitive defined benefit retirement plan with full reciprocity with CalPERS; defined contribution plan available as an option. For a detailed list of benefits refer to the recruitment brochure by clicking on the .pdf link on this page and for more information on employee benefits, visit the City’s Human Resources Benefits website.


This recruitment will be handled with strict confidentiality. References will not be contacted until mutual interest has been established. Confidential inquiries are welcomed to Greg Nelson or Bryan Noblett at (916) 550-4100.

Interested candidates are encouraged to apply below by Monday, November 13, 2023.

The City of San José is an equal opportunity employer.

The information contained herein does not constitute either an expressed or implied contract, and these provisions are subject to change.

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