Summary of Overarching Recommendations

OPO offers 17 policy and process recommendations based on findings from community survey data and research into the policymaking processes of other U.S. police departments.

Below are condensed descriptions of these recommendations. Read the full descriptions hereopen_in_new.

OPO recommends that APD:

  1. Request and use public feedback when writing and developing policies on the use of body-worn and dashboard cameras.
  2. Update the purpose and scope sections of the body-worn and dashboard camera policies to emphasize the City of Austin’s commitment to reducing racial profiling, reducing the use of force, and improving community relationships and make it clear that these cameras can play a role in supporting that effort.
  3. Provide clearer definitions and guidelines when laws are unclear.
  4. Provide officers with clearer instructions for when they must start and stop recording with their cameras. This should apply to the capture of video and audio.
  5. Require officers to acknowledge their use of body-worn cameras and dashboard cameras in police reports.
  6. Provide instructions for officers to use when telling community members that their interaction is being recorded.
  7. Require supervisors to make sure that dashboard cameras and body-worn cameras are in working condition and being used correctly.
  8. Require that potential violations of the body-worn camera and dashboard camera policies be investigated.
  9. Partner with OPO to develop a transparent and formalized process for soliciting and incorporating community feedback during policy development.
  10. Work with OPO to build an engagement process that considers different mediums and formats to balance large-scale, community-wide outreach with targeted outreach aimed at those who have lived experience and are most impacted by policing in Austin and the specific policies under review.
  11. Devote human and economic resources to collecting and synthesizing community feedback for policy drafting.
  12. Publish a schedule of planned updates to the General Orders at the beginning of each calendar year and update it as needed.
  13. Publish information about the source of its policies.
  14. Publish background information to explain the reason for each policy change.
  15. Publish and share policies in a manner that is accessible to those who have disabilities and communication barriers.
  16. Reconsider the role that vendors play in the policymaking process.
  17. Meet with OPO to discuss the recommendations stemming from this project and identify the processes and resources necessary to act on them.

Contact information

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

Contact information

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

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