Policy & research division in 2021
The Policy and Research Division conducts rigorous academic, legal, quantitative, and qualitative research to:
OPO believes that the best policies are created with equal attention to research, formulation, and implementation. Additionally, OPO works to ensure an open line of communication between policymakers and the individuals or groups affected by those policies.
Research and analysis are critical to OPO's mission to enhance accountability and increase transparency. The Policy & Research Division reports on the issues that most impact community members' interactions with APD. In some cases, these reports are based on patterns or trends that OPO has observed while processing and monitoring complaints. In other cases, these reports are written in response to specific directions from the Austin City Council or the City Manager's Office.
In 2021, OPO expanded our policy and research work by publishing a series of reports and memos aimed at revising APD policies. Among this work were two comprehensive reports discussing our analysis of APD’s use-of-force policies. OPO also sent a memo to City leadership with recommendations for better defining what constitutes “resistance” and considering alternatives to lethal and less-lethal force options.