(Washington, DC) – The District of Columbia Office of Police Complaints (OPC) and its governing body, the Police Complaints Board (PCB) today released its Fiscal Year 2018 Annual Report. This year’s report includes information on complaints received, updates on body-worn camera (BWC) usage by Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) officers, and a summary of findings from OPC’s inaugural Use of Force report as well as the Police Foundation’s review of MPD’s activities during inauguration weekend.
In FY18, OPC received 780 complaints, making this the second consecutive year of receiving a record number of complaints. The agency also opened 501 new investigations, more than any other year since OPC’s inception in 2001.
Additionally, BWC video continued to greatly enhance OPC’s ability to conduct an investigation. Agency investigators found BWC video relevant in 76 percent of its cases, a 13 percent increase from FY17. OPC also continued to monitor MPD officers’ compliance with the Department’s BWC program policies. Although there has been slight improvement with officers compliance, OPC found in FY18 that at least one officer failed to properly use their BWC in 20 percent of cases investigated.
As a requirement of the NEAR Act, OPC issued its inaugural report on MPD’s use of force this fiscal year.
OPC found that MPD use of force incidents has increased by 56 percent over the last five years, from 636 incidents in FY13 to 991 incidents in FY17. The agency also published five policy recommendations that addressed improvements for policing in the District.
OPC continued its outreach efforts conducting more than 30 outreach events throughout the Washington, DC metropolitan area. The agency further expanded its youth outreach by presenting at various D.C. Department of Parks and Recreation Teen Career Summer Camps. OPC also added four new organizations to its Community Partnership program.
“Our annual report reflects the hard work of the PCB and OPC,” said Michael G. Tobin, OPC’s executive director. “We will continue to serve our community and promote police accountability.”
To view a copy of OPC’s FY18 Annual Report, visit www.policecomplaints.dc.gov.