The Office of Police Complaints (OPC) and its governing body, the Police Complaints Board (PCB), were created by statute in 1999, and OPC opened to the public on January 8, 2001. The agency is independent of the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD), the District of Columbia’s 3,800-member police force, and the DC Housing Authority Police Department (DCHAPD), the District's 40-member housing authority police force. OPC's mission is to increase community trust in the District of Columbia police forces by providing a fair, thorough, and independent system of civilian oversight of law enforcement.
OPC is staffed by civilians and has the authority to receive complaints involving six types of police officer misconduct: harassment, inappropriate language or conduct, retaliation, unnecessary or excessive force, discrimination, and failure to identify. The agency's functions are to conduct fair and thorough investigations of citizen complaints, provide a reliable system of civilian oversight of law enforcement policies, procedures, and training, and promote positive community-police interactions.
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