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Office of Police Complaints Releases Fiscal Year 2021 Annual Report

Monday, November 15, 2021
Agency received 827 complaints, harassment largest allegation for 8th consecutive year

(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 2021 Annual Report. The report includes information on complaints received and investigated by OPC, the impact of body-worn cameras (BWC) on investigations as well as officer compliance, a summary of policy recommendations issued by the PCB and information on OPC’s community outreach initiatives.  

In FY21, OPC received 827 complaints, which is a 2% decrease from FY20. This is the first time there has been a decrease after several consecutive years of receiving a record number of complaints. The decrease is most likely a result of fewer interactions between the public and the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) and DC Housing Authority Police Department (DCHAPD) officers due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Additionally, within the 827 complaints the agency received there were 1,263 allegations of police misconducted reported. Harassment and language/conduct were the largest categories of allegations with harassment accounting for 50% of the allegations and 24% for language/conduct. This is the 8th consecutive year that harassment and language/conduct made up the largest police misconduct allegation.           

Further, the impact of BWC continues to enhance OPC’s ability to conduct police misconduct investigations. The agency found relevant BWC video in 73% of the cases investigated. However, 29% of those cases included some form of BWC non-compliance. Community members not being notified by MPD officers that they were being recorded accounted for the largest non-compliance category at 17%. As of FY21, the DCHAPD has not implemented a BWC program.

The PCB also published four policy recommendations in FY21 – Stop and Frisk Data Review, Discipline, FY19 Implementation Update and Reexamination of FY15-18 and Marijuana Trained Detection Canines.  Policy recommendations examine and address large-scale concerns about District law enforcement policies, training, or supervision. Since the agency’s inception in 2002, the PCB has issued 61 reports and set of recommendations for police reform.

OPC continued its outreach efforts with conducting and participating in several events throughout the District of Columbia. The agency further expanded its outreach in a virtual environment to young adults employed through the Mayor Marion S. Barry Summer Youth Employment Program. OPC also continues to collaborate with various organizations through its Community Partnership Program.

“OPC and the PCB continues to promote police accountability and transparency through its investigations, policy recommendations and community outreach,” said Michael G. Tobin, OPC’s executive director. “Our annual report reflects how important these things are when trying to improve the relationship between the police and the community.”

To view the full report, visit www.policecomplaints.dc.gov.