When people have concerns or complaints about potential police misconduct, those concerns need to be heard, investigated, and resolved. At Austin’s Office of Police Oversight (OPO), everything we do is to promote an atmosphere of earned trust between Austinites and the Austin Police Department (APD). We do this by making it easy, accessible, and safe for Austinites to provide information and start the process. For example, we ensure that:
- There are several reporting options available (email, an online form, telephone, etc.).
- The process is not overwhelming or complex.
- People understand that they can choose to remain anonymous.
- There is follow-through and transparency on the investigation’s status and eventual outcome.
- The community understands what we do, how we do it, and how to reach us.
Our office also:
- Can start its own complaints independent of specific residents making a complaint.
- Makes recommendations to the City Manager and to APD about individual incidents and investigations, as well as broader policy recommendations.
- Is committed to treating all parties — residents, APD, and the Austin Police Association (APA) — as stakeholders involved in an ongoing conversation. We seek to understand and learn from all perspectives.
The mission of the Office of Police Oversight (OPO) is to provide impartial oversight of the Austin Police Department’s conduct, practices, and policies to enhance accountability, inform the public to increase transparency, and create sustainable partnerships throughout the community.
Farah was appointed to her role due to her wide range of experience and expertise, and for her demonstrated commitment to fairness and transparency. Farah’s mission is to improve trust between Austin residents and the Austin Police Department. Farah studied business and law and holds a Juris Doctorate from the University of Iowa College of Law. She served in leadership roles at Chicago State University, Cook County Public Defender’s office, and for the Mayor of the City of Chicago. Her community involvement includes being a mentor through the GirlForward organization and serving on the board of YWCA Greater Austin.