Building community partnerships

According to OPO survey results and conversations with the community, the fear of retaliation is a significant barrier to filing reports with our office.

We recognize that fear and mistrust in policing and City government is a reality for some in our community. Our goal is to develop strategies to make our processes more accessible so that challenges and concerns can be properly addressed.

Building sustainable partnerships is at the forefront of our goal to earn community trust. OPO works to utilize focused outreach in a manner that is equity-minded, empathetic, and prioritizes direct connection with the community.

Photos of people at OPO community engagement events in 2019 and 2020.

Equityspace Summit

On September 19, 2019, the Office of Police Oversight (OPO) contributed to the first-ever EquitySpace Summit. The event was a solution-focused conference about racial equity. It was designed to advance the national dialogue and inspire action.

OPO staff presented the session, “Engaging a Community in Fear: The Role of Community Engagement in Police Oversight.” The session focused on two key messages:

  • The importance of generational and historical context to community fear of law enforcement; and
  • How focused outreach can bridge the gap between communities and institutions.

Community Leaders

In February 2019 and November 2019, OPO hosted Community Leaders Breakfasts. At these events, OPO invited community members to learn more about OPO's work and connect with leaders throughout the community. Guests at these events included faith-based leaders, community organizers, nonprofit leaders, and educators.

Each Community Leaders Breakfast also provided a forum for community members to ask questions about policing and oversight. In addition, OPO used community members’ February 2019 feedback to develop OPO's mission statement. Click hereopen_in_new to read OPO’s mission statement.

Community office hours

OPO approaches community engagement intending to meet people where they are. In 2019, OPO followed this approach by hosting community office hours in neighborhood libraries and recreational centers. These office hours enabled OPO to connect with communities across 19 different locations in all 10 City Council districts. OPO outreach focuses on historically underserved communities and those experiencing barriers to access. In this photo, two OPO staff members sit at a table, ready to answer questions from shoppers at the H Mart food court in North Austin.

Two OPO staff members sit at a table, ready to answer questions from shoppers at the H Mart food court in North Austin.

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
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