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Office of Police Complaints Joins with District Government Agencies to Expand Outreach Efforts

Friday, January 30, 2009

(Washington, DC) The Office of Police Complaints (OPC) has partnered with the Mayor’s Offices on African Affairs (OAA), Asian and Pacific Islander Affairs (OAPIA), and the Office on Latino Affairs (OLA) to expand its community outreach efforts to the Washington area’s growing immigrant population.

To help implement the partnership, OPC will participate in community fairs, meetings and other events sponsored by OAA, OAPIA, and OLA.  OPC also plans to conduct presentations to several organizations affiliated with these agencies.

Data from government and non-government sources point to the need for targeted outreach to the immigrant communities served by these offices.  According to the Brookings Institution, the Washington, DC metropolitan region, which includes suburban Maryland and Virginia, is one of eight metropolitan areas with an immigrant population of one million or more people.  

In addition, the US Census Bureau's 2005 American Community Survey reported that the Hispanic population accounts for 39 percent of the Washington area’s immigrant community, while Asians make up 35 percent and Africans constitute 11 percent.

“It is very important for us to reach out and educate immigrant communities about our agency’s mission, which is to promote greater police accountability,” said Philip K. Eure, executive director of OPC.  “Many people in the metropolitan area who come into contact with law enforcement in Washington may come from countries where there is a fear or mistrust of police officers.”

Since opening to the public in 2001, OPC has regularly conducted outreach to various civic associations, community groups, schools, and service providers throughout the city. 

If you or your organization are interested in arranging a speaker to attend an event, or if you wish to obtain materials about OPC, please contact Nykisha Cleveland, the agency’s public affairs specialist, at (202) 727-8327.  For additional about the agency and our community outreach program, visit our website at www.policecomplaints.dc.gov.