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152 N. Third Street, Suite 602
San Jose, CA 95112

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Ph: (408) 794-6226
Fax: (408) 977-1053
TTY: (408) 294-9337

Intake Hours
Monday - Friday
9:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.
1:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.

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Office of the Independent Police Auditor

Walter Katz - Independent Police Auditor

The Independent Police Auditor for the City of San José is Walter Katz, an attorney who was appointed by the Mayor and City Council on November 3, 2015 and assumed his responsibilities on January 5, 2016. Previously, Mr. Katz served as a Deputy Inspector General for the County of Los Angeles Office of Inspector General (OIG) which oversees the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. In that role, he led the Inspector General’s effort in monitoring the LASD’s body-worn camera implementation program and developed a framework for increased transparency by the LASD to disclose use of force and civilian complaint information to the public. Prior to the OIG, he worked as a staff attorney at its predecessor agency, the Office of Independent Review, since 2010. There he closely monitored and reviewed the LASD’s investigations of deputy-involved shootings and disciplinary investigations. Mr. Katz has also advised other police agencies and municipalities in their reform efforts.

Mr.Katz is active in the National Association for Civilian Oversight of Law Enforcement (NACOLE), serves on the non-profit organization’s Training, Education and Standards Committee and has frequently been a panelist or moderator on accountability and transparency issues at its annual conference. He has written about police accountability in the Harvard Law Review Forum and The New York Times and has given his insights in The Atlantic, on public radio and other news outlets. Prior to his work in civilian oversight of law enforcement, he served a deputy public defender in Southern California for seventeen years.

He received his law degree from the McGeorge School of Law at the University of the Pacific and his undergraduate degree from the University of Nevada, Reno.

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The mission of the Office of the Independent Police Auditor (IPA) is to provide independent oversight of and instill confidence in the complaint process through objective review of police misconduct investigations.

By providing outreach to the San José community and making thoughtful policy recommendations to the City Council, the IPA works to promote accountability and to strengthen the relationship between the San José Police Department and the community it serves.

IPA Guiding Principles

  • The IPA strives to ensure that all concerns reported by members of the public are classified and investigated at the appropriate level based upon the premise that any case brought forward containing misconduct issues will be classified as a complaint with associated allegations, findings, and officer names tracked.
  • The IPA carefully considers aggregate data from complaints, community concerns, and public policy in crafting recommendations aimed toward improving the quality services of the San José Police Department.
  • The IPA reaches out to inform the community about the complaint process and to listen and respond to broader community concerns.

IPA Statement of Values & No-Gift Policy