The 2015 OPA Annual Report was released on Wednesday, May 25, 2016, as well as a three year retrospective written by Director Pierce Murphy on the challenges and successes since assuming his role as Director of OPA on July 1, 2013. Substantial changes have been made in the past three years to increase OPA’s place as the independent, accessible, trusted and transparent police oversight agency in Seattle. We welcome this opportunity to share both the Annual Report and the Retrospective Report with you.
Thank you for your continued support of a robust and transparent Seattle Police Accountability System.
The Office of Professional Accountability
The Office of Professional Accountability is an independent office within the Seattle Police Department (SPD) which investigates complaints of police misconduct made by members of the community and complaints made internally by members of the Seattle Police Department.
The mission of the OPA is to provide for civilian oversight of the complaint process; to promote public awareness of and full access to that process; and to advance accountability within the Seattle Police Department.
HOW IT WORKS
All public contacts are documented by OPA and evaluated to determine how best to respond. Every allegation of misconduct by an SPD employee goes through an extensive review process and is independently investigated.
Learn more about the complaint process
CIVILIAN OVERSIGHT IN SEATTLE
The structure of the OPA was designed to ensure objective, thorough and transparent investigations. All OPA investigations are reviewed by an independent Auditor. The Office of Professional Accountability Review Board furthers the mission of the OPA and assures public trust in the process.
The Auditor is appointed by the Mayor and confirmed by the City Council. The role of the Auditor is to ensure the thoroughness, fairness and timeliness of the OPA investigations. The Auditor reviews all the OPA complaints and investigations, reviews and assesses Police Department policies and practices, and makes recommendations accordingly.
The Office of Professional Accountability Review Board (OPARB) consists of 7 members appointed by the City Council. The OPARB's mission is to provide community oversight and awareness of Seattle Police Department practices and its employee accountability system. The OPARB works with the OPA to implement its mission.