Complaints division

OPO's Complaints Division accepts complaints and thanks about police conduct.

Introduction

The Office of Police Oversight (OPO) provides independent, impartial oversight over the Austin Police Department (APD). OPO and APD are separate departments within the City of Austin. OPO is made up of civilians with oversight, legal, policy, and community engagement expertise. OPO’s role and responsibilities are outlined in:

There are three divisions within OPO:

  • Complaints
  • Policy & Research
  • Communications

Complaints Division

Flow chart of the steps of the OPO complaint process. From left to right: 1. Contact received. 2. OPO conducts preliminary review. 3. APD investigation monitored by OPO . 4. Director of OPO and APD review findings. 5. OPO notifies complainant of resolution.

OPO's Complaints Division accepts complaints and thank yous related to Austin Police Department (APD) officer conduct. Community members can submit complaints or thank yous based on their own or someone else's experience. Anyone may contact OPO via phone, email, fax, U.S. mail, or the online form.

Individuals may submit complaints or thank yous anonymously. Before the 2018 Meet and Confer Agreement between the City of Austin and the Austin Police Association, anyone wanting to file a complaint about an APD officer was required to submit a signed and notarized legal statement (affidavit) documenting their complaint. Feedback from the community indicated this requirement had a negative impact and provided an almost insurmountable barrier to people coming forward about their experiences.

As a result, community members and activists advocated for the ability to file anonymous complaints. For example, the new OPO complaint form was co-created with community members and listed contact information last to clarify that this information was not required. Accepting anonymous feedback increases accessibility for community members who would otherwise be unwilling or unable to share their experiences.

OPO independently reviews every contact submitted to the office. OPO does not investigate complaints. APD investigates community complaints that they deem warrant an investigation.

OPO conducts oversight of each complaint from when a contact is submitted, to when an investigation is finalized. Oversight of a complaint includes:

  • Conducting a preliminary review of the complaint
  • Monitoring any subsequent investigation by APD
  • Providing progress updates to the individual who submitted the complaint
  • Communicating the results of an investigation once APD has made a final determination

Información de contacto

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

Información de contacto

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