Discussion of Community Feedback

Through surveys and virtual events, OPO sought feedback from Austin community members on APD’s current use of policy vendors and community input, as well as OPO’s recommendations.

The following was the key insight from community voices at OPO’s virtual events:

Community input is necessary to improve policy, but feedback needs to be obtained intentionally.

In addition to supporting community input in policymaking, responses from those attending OPO’s virtual events also suggest a need for engagement that focuses on people who are most impacted and involves those people from the very beginning.

Below are comments (made verbally or in writing) from community members who attended OPO’s virtual events:

  • “Policies should align with what the community wants. This means reaching over-policed populations especially District 1-4."

  • “I suggest that it would vary depending on the policy that we’re talking about. So, for example, the body camera policy has a couple of different sections. There’s a section specific to critical incidents and I think that the policy related to the release of body camera video when a person’s family member has been killed--I’m sorry it’s hard to say this in a minute--has things you need to account for. So, I think that it’s important for crafting a good release of body camera videos for critical incidents including families of people who have had family members killed by police. I think that their input about how and when that release should roll out and when things should be available to the public when these incidents are very triggering kind of is a special case. But then there’s all the other body camera video that relates to really, like, the day to day, and I think a much broader public can all have important views on when that should be released.”

  • “I agree with the recommendations as well, but I was wondering when in terms of community input, having the community be a part of the crafting of the policy changes. Here you’ve crafted it and now you’re asking for our input after the fact. Maybe having the community as a part of the conversations to begin with.”

  • “All policies should be open to community input. The APD exists to serve us.”

Data from OPO’s community-wide survey shows that people believe community input should be a part of the policymaking process and that community involvement makes the government more accountable.

  • 66% of respondents believe that community involvement positively impacts government accountability.
  • 66% of respondents believe the City should request and use public feedback when writing rules.
  • 61% of respondents would like the City's body-worn camera and dashboard camera program to include more community input.

Contact information

contact_phone
Main office: (512) 974-9090
Complaint and thank-you hotline: (512) 972-2676

Contact information

contact_phone
Main office: (512) 974-9090
Complaint and thank-you hotline: (512) 972-2676
feedback

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