About the Community Police Review Commission
Learn about the Community Police Review Commission and how you can get involved in improving policing in Austin.
The Community Police Review Commission listens to and promotes the community’s voice in policing and public safety in Austin. We champion conduct, practices, and policies centered in dignity and equity.
We envision all Austin communities having transparent, fair, thorough, and effective public safety processes and policies.
Scope of the Community Police Review Commission
The Community Police Review Commission consists of 10 unpaid volunteers appointed by the city manager to:
- Make policy-level recommendations regarding discipline, training, community relations, and the complaint process.
- Address any other issues of concern by the community.
- Review patterns and practices of the Austin Police Department.
- Assess critical incidents and review individual cases of police misconduct.
- Make fair and objective recommendations, and make decisions based only on the facts and evidence.
- Assess the effectiveness of the Office of Police Oversight.
The commission serves to oversee these matters independently and separately from the Office of Police Oversight and any other City of Austin organization.
Commission meetings and agenda
The commission encourages feedback and input from the community at its meetings, which will always be open to the public and video and audio recorded. The commission is not subject to the Texas Open Meetings Act.
Meetings with the CPRC will be hosted on the first Monday of every month from 6-8 p.m. You can access CPRC meeting agendas here.
All meetings are recorded and available for the public to view. You can watch past meeting recordings here.
The commission’s founding members approved the bylaws as one of their first orders of business on October 5, 2020. You can access the official bylaws here.
Commission official documents
The Community Police Review Commission can make policy-level recommendations regarding discipline, training, community relations, and the OPO Complaint Process. You can access official documents here.
The city manager has appointed the following 10 commissioners to serve as the founding volunteer members from communities throughout Austin. They work independently from the City of Austin.
Click on each name below to send an email to that commissioner.
- Richard Barner, CPRC Chair
- Yesenia Rodriguez, CPRC Vice-Chair
- Kiran Josyula
- Lora Spencer
- Bob Corona
- Nicholas Taylor
- Vincent Sellers
Applications are accepted on a rolling basis and reviewed when a vacancy arises.
History of the commission
From 2001 to 2017, the Citizen Review Panel served to provide citizen oversight of the Austin Police Department.
In January 2018, the interim city manager suspended the Citizen Review Panel due to a lack of a Meet and Confer Agreement with the Austin Police Association.
On March 22, 2018, Austin City Council passed Resolution 20180322-047 directing the city manager to conduct research and report back to Council with recommendations for improving the effectiveness, transparency, and efficiency of the police oversight system. The city manager then created the Police Oversight Advisory Working Group, convening experts and stakeholders within the community and City of Austin, and asked them to draft a proposal for consideration by the city manager and City Council.
From June to September of 2018, the working group met to develop recommendations based on community feedback, forums, surveys, user research, and police oversight best practices. Their final report (PDF, 7.7 MB) includes findings on the Citizen Review Panel and echoes the City Auditor’s independently conducted June 2018 report (PDF, 239 KB):
- The Citizen Review Panel did not create substantive change within the APD, largely due to the effects of City procedures and police department practices.
- Information created by the Citizen Review Panel was not fully protected or retained because the City did not provide adequate resources and training to panelists.
To address these issues, the working group recommended that:
- The community panel’s recommendations to the Chief of Police are made public.
- The Chief of Police publicly responds in writing to recommendations from the community panel.
The Meet and Confer Agreement between the City of Austin and the Austin Police Association became effective November 15, 2018. Article 16, Section 4, pages 50–55 (PDF, 780 KB) of the agreement enables the city manager to create a panel of civilians that oversees police officer conduct. The agreement also addresses many of the City Auditor’s findings and recommendations.