Agency: Office of the Police Monitor (OPM)
Office of the Police Monitor
1520 Rutherford Lane
Austin, TX 78767
Agency Website: http://www.austintexas.gov/department/police-monitor
Type of oversight agency/mechanism: Monitor
Oversight of: Austin Police Department
Number of sworn police officers: 1300 - 1600
Population of city: 843,000
Enabling authority: Meet and Confer Contract between City of Austin and the Austin Police Department (see Attachment 1)
- 1 Police Monitor
- 1 Assistant Police Monitor
- 1 Research Analyst Senior
- 3 Complaint Specialists
- 1 Community Liaison
- 1 Executive Assistant
- 1 Administrative Specialist
(See Attachment 2 – OPM Organization Chart & Attachments 8 – 12, OPM Job Descriptions)
Annual Budget: $1,079,667 (FY 2014)
- Receives complaints
- Monitors investigations conducted by sworn personnel as they are conducted
- Observes interviews conducted by sworn personnel
- Participates in interviews conducted by sworn personnel
- Audits investigations into complaints after completion of investigation
- Conducts systemic audits of police department activities
- Reviews completed investigations conducted by sworn personnel
- Recommends findings on investigations conducted by sworn personnel
- Makes policy recommendations
Scope of agency’s authority:
(See attachment 1, Meet & Confer Contract)
- Compel production of police agency records
- Compel statements from officers
- Remedy for failure to comply: City Legal / City Manager Intervention
- Mediations are conducted by the Dispute Resolution Center, a neutral contracted entity, and are governed by Mediation rules /procedures.
- Only Class B External Complaints related to allegations of profanity, rudeness, belittling and/or inadequate police service, are presently eligible for Mediation.
- Complaints that rise to the level of an Internal Affairs Class B investigation are ineligible for mediation.
(See: Attachment 3 – Mediation Brochure; Attachment 4 – OPM Mediation Standard Operating Procedures; Attachment 5 – Austin Police Dept. Policy on Mediation; Attachment 6 – Identifying Cases for Mediation; Mediation program description & video: http://www.austintexas.gov/department/mediation)
Volunteer board or Commission: Citizen Review Panel (CRP)
The Citizen Review Panel (CRP) is made up of seven volunteer citizens that hear disputed Internal Affairs (IA) cases.
Appointed by: City Manager with input from the City Council.
The CRP serves as a link between APD and the community regarding police issues. All members are to maintain the strictest confidentiality and knowledge of investigations. Each panel member serves for two years and must complete required training set up by the Austin Police Department (APD) and IA. Panel members are appointed by the City Manager with input from the City Council. Panel members are required to also attend monthly meetings to review complaints and make recommendations. As a fundamental standard, all panel members must become educated in police policies and procedures and become aware of the needs and interests of the community and police officers.
Criteria for appointment:
- Anyone interested in being a member of the CRP must:
- Be a City of Austin resident for at least 2 years prior to appointment
- Have no felony convictions, received deferred adjudication for a felony or be under felony indictment
- Receive 6 hours of IA training
Attend 3-4 day training by APD tailored specifically for panel members to include training by the Special Investigations Unit, Officer Involved Shootings, Response to Resistance, the Police Training Academy and the Crisis Intervention Team, firearms training including FATS training, Bomb and SWAT, ride-outs on at least two shifts in different parts of the city and a presentation by the association
The Office of the Police Monitor was created and developed to promote mutual respect between the Austin Police Department (APD) and the community it serves. Through our outreach efforts, we will educate the community and law enforcement to promote the highest degree of mutual respect between police officers and the public. By engaging in honest dialogue over issues and incidents that impact the community and law enforcement, the Office of the Police Monitor will enhance public confidence, trust, and support in the fairness and integrity of the Austin Police Department.
- OPM Annual Reports: https://austintexas.gov/department/annual-police-monitor-reports
- Disciplinary Memos: https://austintexas.gov/department/disciplinary-memos
- Mediation program description & video: http://www.austintexas.gov/department/mediation
- Austin Police Department Policy Manual: https://austintexas.gov/sites/default/files/files/Police_Monitor/2012-3%20Effective%2010-7-2012%20%282%29.pdf
- Austin Police Department website: https://austintexas.gov/department/police