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We evaluated the police in California.

Read the Findings. See the Grade for Each Department.

Sheriff's Department: Kern
F 38%

Police violence

Grade: D  |  64% ?

Police Use of Force By Year

Less-Lethal Force

Using batons, strangleholds, tasers & other weapons

548 Incidents  |  170.1 every 10k arrests  |  +17%

^  Used More Force per Arrest than 69% of Depts   

Deadly Force

3 Shootings & 2 other deaths or serious injuries

5 Incidents  |  1.6 every 10k arrests  | 

^  Used More Deadly Force per Arrest than 25% of Depts   

Police Shootings Where Police Did Not Attempt Non-Lethal Force Before Shooting

100% of Shootings (3/3)


Where Police say they saw a gun but no gun was found

25% of Guns "Perceived" were Never Found (1/4)


People Killed or Seriously Injured

1 Deaths, 4 Serious Injuries

40% were Unarmed  |  60% had a Gun

People Killed or Seriously Injured

Police Violence by race

Black Latinx API Other White

City Population


People Arrested


People Killed or Seriously Injured


^  More Racial Bias in Arrests and Deadly Force than 6% of Depts   

Policies Adopted to Limit Use of Force *
* Agency Currently Updating Policy

City has not adopted the following policies:
Requires De-Escalation
Bans Chokeholds / Strangleholds
Duty to Intervene
Requires Warning Before Shooting
Bans Shooting at Moving Vehicles
Requires Comprehensive Reporting
Requires Exhaust Alternatives Before Shooting
Has Use of Force Continuum

Police Accountability

Grade: F  |  27% ?

Total civilian complaints

346 Reported  |  5% Ruled in Favor of Civilians


Use of Force Complaints

0 Complaints Reported


Complaints of Misconduct in Jail

157 Reported  |  4% Ruled in Favor of Civilians


Complaints of Police Discrimination

18 Reported  |  0% Ruled in Favor of Civilians


Alleged Crimes Committed by Police

11 Reported  |  27% Ruled in Favor of Civilians


Policies Making It Harder to Hold Police Accountable *
* Agency Currently Re-Negotiating Contract

Disqualifies Complaints
Restricts / Delays Interrogations
Gives Officers Unfair Access to Information
Limits Oversight / Discipline
Requires City Pay for Misconduct
Erases Misconduct Records

Approach to Policing

Grade: F  |  22% ?

Arrests By Year

Arrests for Low Level Offenses

18,039 Misdemeanor Arrests  |  26.3 per 1k residents

^  Higher Misdemeanor Arrest Rate than 84% of Depts   

Percent of total arrests by type

All Misdemeanors ( 56% )

Drug Possession ( 14% )

Violent Crime ( 7% )

Homicides Unsolved

206 Homicides from 2013-18  |  145 Unsolved

^  Solved Fewer Homicides than 88% of Depts   

Percent of Homicides Unsolved by Race

Homicides of Black Victims Unsolved ( 67% )

Homicides of Latinx Victims Unsolved ( 60% )

Homicides of White Victims Unsolved ( 20% )

Police Funding in 2018

$228,162,473 (13% of Budget)  |  $339 per Resident

Police & Jail $228.2M Health $223.5M Education $7.4M


^ More Police Funding than 42% of Depts   

Deaths in Jail

19 Deaths  |  2.9 per 1k Jail Population

Homicide Suicide Other Investigating


^ Higher Rate of Jail Deaths than 82% of Depts   

Jail Incarceration rate

2,155 Avg Daily Jail Population  |  6.7 per 1k residents

^  More than 82% of Sheriff's Depts   

2016-2018 California
Sheriff's Department Grades

About This Scorecard

This is the first statewide Police Scorecard in the United States. It was built using data from California's OpenJustice database, public records requests, national databases and media reports.

methodology Source Data


Use this Scorecard to identify issues within police departments that require the most urgent interventions and hold officials accountable for implementing solutions. For example, cities with higher rates of misdemeanor arrests could benefit most from solutions that create alternatives to policing and arrest for these offenses. In cities where police make fewer arrests overall but use more force when making arrests, communities could benefit significantly from policies designed to limit police use force. And cities where complaints of police misconduct are rarely ruled in favor of civilians could benefit from creating an oversight structure to independently investigate these complaints.


Here's how to start pushing for change:


  • Contact Your County Sheriff, share this scorecard with them and urge them to enact policies to address the issues you've identified:
    Advocacy Tip:  California's new deadly force law goes into effect in January - requiring departments to adopt more restrictive deadly force policies. Tell your Sheriff to adopt a policy that explicitly requires police to exhaust all available alternatives prior to using deadly force.  Research shows this policy saves lives.
  • Find your US Senator and US Representative using the Campaign Zero Advocacy Tool and urge them to support the PEACE Act, which would require police departments to adopt policies requiring de-escalation and alternatives to deadly force, a change that would reduce police shootings nationwide.
    Campaign Zero Advocacy Tool


If you have feedback, questions about the project, or need support with an advocacy campaign, contact our Project Lead, Samuel Sinyangwe.