To help guide the development of Open Police Complaints (OPC), we’ve identified six interrelated principles. If applied, they form a foundation for a just and effective police complaints model.
Police misconduct victims should never have to deal with rude or intimidating police station employees. That’s the opposite of openness — because openness requires accessibility. OPC is always easy to use and easy to understand. And, of course, we’re always open to receive your complaint!
The people who report misconduct should be at the center of the police oversight process. Filing a complaint is not the end of the road for OPC users. We keep in touch because we care about how well — or how poorly — your department responds to your complaint. Your story is too important to be ignored!
Police encounters can be chaotic, and the law can be complex. That’s why people who report misconduct often miss important things or pick allegations that aren’t quite right. OPC helps you find and organize the details that matter most. We also know the law inside and out, so we'll make sure your allegations match the facts of your story.
There are about 18,000 police departments in the United States. Each one collects complaints in its own unique way. This leads to poor data consistency — and a huge headache for policing researchers. OPC is helping to establish national data standards for collecting complaints. This will create better understand of police behavior across the country.
We strive to be fair and neutral in the way we collect and share data. We cannot check the accuracy of complaint allegations, so we never assume that they are true or false. To maintain objectivity, we only present response options and questions that are non-leading. In other words, we only encourage users to share information that’s accurate and truthful.
Most police departments operate under a “code of silence” that keeps the public in the dark about how police misconduct is handled. Making matters worse, most departments operate under a culture of secrecy...
Open Police Complaints (OPC) was developed with contributions from police oversight professionals and web developers from across the nation. Our tools designed to serve the needs of police accountability activists, investigators, attorneys, police chiefs, and others working to advance police oversight and accountability through better, more open data.