(Washington, DC) As part of its mission, the Office of Police Complaints (OPC) has worked to increase the information available about the agency to residents of and visitors to the District of Columbia. Through its Outreach Program, OPC has established community contacts and implemented an awareness program to educate the public about the agency and the process for filing a police misconduct complaint.
In carrying out its outreach work, OPC has built and maintained relationships with communities that lack information about services provided by OPC. The agency has focused its efforts on a variety of groups, including the District’s youth, the Latino community, and residents who live east of the Anacostia River in Wards 7 and 8.
OPC also has developed many different outreach activities that help spread the word about the agency in different ways. The agency’s Student Interactive Training program has been one of the most successful. This program, which focuses on reducing the number of negative interactions between police officers and teenagers, uses role-playing to give young people the opportunity to evaluate their behavior and police officer conduct under different scenarios. OPC’s Student Interactive Training has proven to be a very effective innovation that supplements courses dealing with government and civil rights issues.
OPC’s other outreach activities include presentations to neighborhood associations, “training the providers,” which are presentations to social service providers who can pass information about the agency to their clients, informational sessions for new recruits of the Metropolitan Police Department, and other community forums that deal with issues relating to police accountability.
“Our community outreach program continues to look for new and different ways to keep the public informed about the agency and its work,” said Philip K. Eure, OPC’s executive director. “A recent initiative was the production of the agency’s first public service announcement, which airs regularly on City Cable Channel 16.”
OPC welcomes invitations to conduct outreach to different groups, and the office accepts as many invitations as possible. If you or your organization is interested in arranging for a speaker to attend an event, or if you wish to obtain informational materials about the agency, please contact OPC's public affairs specialist, Melanie Deggins, at (202) 727-3838.