Mr. Jason Wechter
Mr. Jason Wechter has worked for over thirty-four years as a professional investigator in the public and private sector. His public sector experience includes fifteen years conducting police oversight investigations for San Francisco’s Office of Citizen Complaints and working as an investigator with the San Francisco Public Defenders Office and as an Investigative Auditor with the San Francisco Controller’s Office Whistleblower Complaints unit.
Mr. Wechter’s work in the private sector focused on complex litigation investigations for attorneys and workplace investigations for municipal agencies. Much of his work involved conducting investigations on behalf of indigent criminal defendants in which he worked as a court-appointed defense investigator. He also conducted numerous life history investigations in death penalty cases.
Mr. Wechter has been involved with civilian oversight since 1982 when he worked on the community-based campaign to create San Francisco’s Office of Citizen Complaints (OCC) and began working at the OCC in 1983 as its first supervising investigator. Mr. Wechter helped shape many of the OCC’s early policies and procedures, creating its demonstration monitoring program and writing and implementing the agency’s first policy recommendation adopted by the San Francisco Police Department. Mr. Wechter left the OCC to accept a position at another City of San Francisco agency but returned there in 1998. Since then, he has conducted over seven-hundred investigations of alleged police misconduct, including dozens of use of force cases and multiple officer involved shootings. Mr. Wechter designed the OCC training program for newly hired investigators and wrote many of the criteria used to evaluate investigators’ performance.
Mr. Wechter has delivered presentations at numerous NACOLE conferences since 2004. He was appointed to the NACOLE Board of Directors in 2006 and was re-elected to the Board of Directors in 2008 and 2011. Mr. Wechter drafted NACOLE’s Code of Ethics, its Qualification Standards for Oversight Investigators and Supervising Investigators and its Recommended Training for Board and Commission Members. He has served as Chair of the NACOLE Conference Committee, Newsletter Committee, Website Committee, Best Practices Committee and as co-chair of its Professional Standards Committee. He helped design and launch the NACOLE Annual Conference Scholarship Fund and the NACOLE Awards Procedures.
Mr. Wechter is a certified NACOLE Trained Practitioner, a Certified Legal Investigator, Certified Criminal Defense Investigator and a certified Force Science Analyst. He is the author of a 2004 report issued by the Police Professionalism Initiative of the University of Nebraska, “Investigating Citizen Complaints is Different: The Special Challenges of Investigating Citizen Complaints Against Police Officers.” He has conducted trainings for investigators and attorneys on investigative procedures and standards and on police misconduct issues and has given presentations to community groups on oversight issues
Prior to his investigative career, Mr. Wechter worked as a freelance journalist and investigative reporter and as a Personnel Management Specialist for the federal government.
Mr. Wechter received his a BA degree in anthropology from the State University of New York at Stony Brook. In his spare time, Mr. Wechter operates a business creating team-building events that emphasize effective teamwork, strategic analysis, decision-making and group collaboration skills.