What We Do
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 make sure 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.