(Washington, DC) The Office of Police Complaints (OPC) and its governing body, the Police Complaints Board (PCB), today released their 2007 Annual Report. The agency closed the most complaints, completed the most investigations, and adjudicated and mediated the most complaints in its history.
The agency received 440 complaints from the public against officers of the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) and the DC Housing Authority Police Department (DCHAPD). This figure was a 6% increase over the year before.
The agency prepared 345 investigative reports. In addition, 22 complaints were adjudicated and 19 of the complaints had allegations that were sustained and forwarded to the Chief of Police for discipline.
OPC also conducted 35 mediation sessions, 26 (or 74%) of which were successful, and led to an agreement between the complainant and subject officer that resolved the complaint.
“This was a very productive year for the agency,” said Philip K. Eure, OPC’s executive director. “We made progress on a number of fronts, which will allow us to better serve the District and promote greater confidence in the police.”
In addition to investigating and resolving individual complaints of police misconduct, the agency issued four detailed policy recommendations, including a report on its monitoring of MPD’s handling of several protests held in Washington in the spring.
Overall, the agency has been pleased with steps taken by MPD and the city to implement proposals made by PCB. For instance, the District Department of Transportation (DDOT) and MPD took immediate steps to carry out the Board’s September 2007 proposals designed to increase public awareness of District law regarding drivers and cellular telephones.
Unfortunately, though, MPD and the city have not adopted key elements of the September 2006 recommendations made by PCB that urged MPD to become more proactive in addressing the needs of people with mental illness who interact with police officers.
Beyond the handling of individual complaints and the issuance of policy recommendations, the agency conducted a variety of community outreach activities during the year. For example, the agency launched a partnership with the Marshall-Brennan Constitutional Literacy Project at American University’s Washington College of Law that involved OPC providing student interactive training at 12 schools throughout the District.
To view a full copy of PCB’s 2007 Annual Report, select the links below: