(Washington, DC) – The District of Columbia’s Office of Police Complaints (OPC) and its governing body, the Police Complaints Board (PCB), today released the agency’s Fiscal Year 2012 Annual Report.
OPC worked on 910 complaints, closing 579 of them. These totals are higher than in any previous year of the agency’s history. OPC also closed more complaints than it received for the second year in a row while producing 336 investigative reports.
As part of its work investigating police misconduct complaints, OPC conducted over 980 interviews, including nearly 540 police officers and more than 445 citizens.
Recognizing that there are alternative methods to resolve some allegations of police misconduct, the agency mediated 35 complaints, 26 of which were successful and led to an agreement between the citizen complainant and the police officer accused of wrongdoing. The report includes summaries of three cases mediated in the past year, illustrating the power of bringing officers and members of the public together to improve police-community relations.
In the course of the year, the agency also issued a policy recommendation urging the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) to revise its current policies and clarify when off-duty officers should engage in traffic enforcement. The annual report discusses the recommendation and provides updates on the status of other proposals for police reform issued in recent years.
Outreach continued in all eight of the District’s wards. Presentations were made to school students, tenants’ groups, neighborhood associations, and community-based organizations that serve people with limited proficiency in English. In addition, the agency launched a Facebook page and completely revamped its website to make it easier for the public to access information about OPC’s services.
“The annual report provides a comprehensive overview of and lots of detail about the citizen complaints handled by the agency last year,” said Executive Director Philip K. Eure. “Through our various efforts to promote greater police accountability, we aim to increase confidence in law enforcement.”
Noting that members of the District Council recently introduced the “Police Monitoring Enhancement Act Amendment Act of 2013," the report urges the Council to act on it. If meaningful police monitoring legislation is enacted, OPC would have the authority to monitor and publicly report on the volume, types, and outcomes of citizen complaints resolved by MPD in the same way that OPC’s annual reports have consistently presented information about complaints handled by OPC.
To view a full copy of PCB’s 2012 Annual Report, please click here: 2012 Annual Report.