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Office of Professional Accountability Review Board

Executive Summary
Second Quarterly Report
January 2003

The Office of Professional Accountability Review Board (The Board) has completed its work for the second quarter. In continuing the format established during the first quarter, our work was confined to a narrower scope than the ordinance mandates. The Board is striving for effectiveness and will continue to take a measured approach as we delve into the myriad issues surrounding police accountability.

The Board recognizes that the oversight of the Office of Professional Accountability (OPA) is our chief concern. We believe that the citizen complaint process is the vehicle that opens the police process to public scrutiny. Therefore, our second quarter goals primarily involved gaining a better understanding of the police accountability system.

The Board has begun the laborious task of monitoring the OPA processes. Our initial review is centered on the complaint classification system. We review closed, redacted cases to assess police accountability issues. Since there are different categories of complaints entering the system in a variety of ways, the Board is developing a template so that future cases can be analyzed in a consistent manner.

The Board has also begun regular meetings with the OPA Director, OPA Deputy Director and the Auditor. It is vitally important that we understand the roles, responsibilities and nuances of the positions created to oversee police accountability. We are also working to eliminate redundancy of duties so as to form and efficient an effective partnership.

The Board has expanded our continuing community outreach program. We are actively striving to enhance the visibility of the entire OPA system and increase public confidence in the citizen complaint process.

Our individual website is fully functioning. We have also developed OPARB brochures that are being disseminated to the public. We are continually expanding our stakeholder list and attend meetings regularly. Our next goal is to design an evaluative instrument to determine the effectiveness of our outreach.

The Board has taken on a special project involving the use of force. We recognized early on that this singular issue causes the most public consternation. In addition, we noted that in reading the case files, we were presented with tactical questions that could not be answered without more personal knowledge of police operations. During the upcoming period, we will receive training in defensive tactics and do additional research on use of force issues. We hope, in the future, to be able to make well-informed recommendations for improvement.


This page was last updated: January 24, 2003

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