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Executive Director Testifies on Bill to Expand Agency’s Authority

Thursday, October 29, 2009

(Washington, DC) The executive director of the Distict of Columbia’s Office of Police Complaints (OPC), Philip K. Eure, testified on October 23, 2009, at a hearing before the city council’s Public Safety and Justice Committee about a bill that would expand the agency’s police oversight authority.  

If enacted, Bill 18-130 would allow the Police Complaints Board (PCB), which oversees OPC, to monitor and publicly reporting on citizen complaints that are filed with and investigated by the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) and D.C. Housing Authority Police Department (DCHAPD).

The bill, entitled the “Police Monitoring Enhancement Amendment Act of 2009,” was introduced by District of Columbia Council members Mary M. Cheh, Phil Mendelson, and Muriel Bowser on February 3, 2009.  The proposed law incorporates policy recommendations issued by PCB in its September 2008 report to the mayor, city council, and the MPD and DCHAPD chiefs of police.  The legislation provides for extending the Board’s current authority to include review and analysis of the number, types and dispositions of citizen complaints investigated or otherwise resolved by MPD and DCHAPD.  Any discipline resulting from those cases would also be monitored.

District law allows an individual to file a police misconduct complaint directly with MPD or DCHAPD that will be investigated by the relevant department, or to file a complaint with OPC that will be independently investigated by OPC.  Each year, OPC issues an annual report detailing the volume, types, and outcomes of citizen complaints that are filed with and resolved by OPC.  Currently, MPD and DCHAPD do not provide the public with similar information.

To view the bill or a copy of the PCB’s full report and recommendations, click the links below: