Office of Oversight and Public Accountability


Our Mission

Through targeted change, accountability, restorative justice, empowerment and engagement, OPA will help create and improve just outcomes and respectful relationships between public safety and community.

About OPA

The Office of Oversight and Public Accountability (OPA) was created in August 2019. City Manager Mark Washington developed OPA to serve as the liaison between public safety and our Grand Rapids community. 

The City's Strategic Plan highlights the importance of:

  • Enhancing and Building trust
  • Ensuring the legitimacy of the police department
  • Ensuring the safety of every resident, business and visitor

The Plan commits to ensuring that “all people feel safe and are safe at all times throughout our community.”

The City recognizes that trust in our public safety officials is an important factor in reaching that goal. Civilian Oversight is an essential tool that helps to:

  • Protect civil rights
  • Support effective policing
  • Build bridges between public safety and community
  • Increase confidence in police
  • Manage risks
  • Ensure greater accountability

OPA works to create mutual trust and respect between our public safety departments and the community we serve.

Learn more about the work we do below.

Upcoming Events

Project Clean Slate GR: Expungement Fair

Do you have a criminal record? You may be eligible to have it removed through a process called expungement. We're hosting the Project Clean Slate GR: Expungement Fair to help people through this process.

If interested, join us on Saturday, May 4, 2024, from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM at the Salvation Army KROC Center (2500 Division Ave S, Grand Rapids, MI 49507).

Event Info & Registration

Past Events

- Virtual Cure Violence Meet and Greet (11/10/2021)

  • The City of Grand Rapids Office of Oversight and Public Accountability (OPA) will host a virtual Cure Violence Grand Rapids Meet and Greet 4 to 6 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 10. It will be the community’s first chance to meet the newly assembled team and learn more about the community-led evidence-based violence reduction and intervention program.
    The virtual event will give residents the chance to learn more about the city’s new Cure Violence program and the people tasked with carrying it out.
    Due to COVID-19 safety protocols and space limitations, this meet and greet is a hybrid event with all Grand Rapidians encouraged to watch the introduction and presentation virtually.


-Let's Talk About It: Social Justice Series, Part 1 (9/17/2020)

  • Check out Part 1 of a series of discussions regarding social justice, equity, gun violence, and the national movement around Black Lives Matter. 

Let's Talk About It: Social Justice Series, Part 1 Recording

-Processing Trauma (8/12/2020)

  • On Wednesday, August 12 at 6 PM, 2020 we hosted a Processing Trauma event.
    We had four local mental health professionals join OPA Director, Brandon Davis, and Office of Equity and Engagement Director, Stacy Stout.

Processing Trauma Recording

How Was OPA's Policy Created?
  • OPA began developing its Internal Operations and Manual of Procedures in 2019.
  • OPA hosted community workgroup sessions which included representation from community members, community organizations and City personnel.
  • In addition to various training, books, and administrative documents, OPA considered over 20 different civilian oversight models from around the country.


What Does OPA's Policy Do?

  • Formalizes the authority, jurisdiction, and oversight functions of OPA with regard to:
    • The Grand Rapids Police Department (GRPD)
    • The Grand Rapids Fire Department (GRFD)
    • The Grand Rapids Police Civilian Appeals Board (CAB)
  • Establishes analytical frameworks for:
    • Auditing GRPD's Internal Affairs investigations and officer-involved shootings.
    • Conducting supplemental investigations at the request of CAB.
  • Provides an overview of community engagement activities, restorative justice events, and data-driven initiatives.
  • Institutes intradepartmental information management and records retention policies.

Download OPA's Policy(PDF, 985KB)

Strategic Launch

We're creating a Strategic Launch to guide OPA operations. The Strategic Launch of OPA is divided into seven phases:

  1. Research and Analysis
  2. Collaborative Design
  3. Strategic Engagement
  4. Strategic Plan Finalization
  5. Creation of Operational Policies and Procedures
  6. Internal and External Education
  7. Official Launch of OPA

We're currently in stage three - Strategic Engagement. We are keeping COVID Restrictions in mind as OPA participates in internal and external engagement. There will be several planned opportunities for Community Led Engagement.

Draft Strategic Plan

Through targeted change, accountability, restorative justice, empowerment and engagement the Office of Oversight and Public Accountability (OPA) will help create and improve just outcomes and respectful relationships between public safety and community.

Download the Plan(PDF, 9MB)

Related Items

TRUE Action

We are committed to being T.R.U.E. to our police reform efforts and to working to ensure just outcomes.

T.R.U.E. – Transparent, Responsible, United, and Equitable.

TRUE Action – Reimagining Policing in Grand Rapids 

City of Grand Rapids - Annual Surveillance Report


The City of Grand Rapids is excited to present the public with its first Annual Surveillance Report. This report covers instances of surveillance use by City departments from the date of revision (January 3, 2022) to the end of the first full fiscal year thereafter.

While reading the full report is encouraged, we understand that time is of the essence for most. In light of this, we've prepared a visual summary entitled "Annual Surveillance Report: At A Glance," which briefly highlights the report's findings.

Download the Annual Surveillance Report(PDF, 4MB)

Download At A Glance - Visual Summary(PDF, 824KB)


Public Safety Alignment and Governance Report


The City of Grand Rapids is committed to creating a community where “all people feel safe and are safe at all times,” which includes creating a shared understanding of timely, equitable, and effective public safety services. In order to do that effectively, there must be clarity regarding the roles and responsibilities of the City’s public safety boards and commissions. City Manager Mark Washington tasked the Office of Oversight and Public Accountability (OPA) to lead an evaluation regarding the alignment and governance of the Civilian Appeal Board, Community Relations Commission, Police Chief Advisory Team, Public Safety Committee, and the SAFE Taskforce to offer recommendations regarding the alignment and governance of those boards and commissions. This report does not focus on Grand Rapids Police Department, Grand Rapids Fire Department, or Office of Oversight and Public Accountability, but instead evaluates the commissions and boards that work within the City’s public safety system. The goal of this report is to ensure that our public safety boards are well aligned and that the systems work in a way that complement each other and promote safety, transparency, accountability, and equity.

View Report(PDF, 2MB)

OPA Public Statements

Administrative Order 21-06: 4/23/2021

"Yesterday, the City Manager issued an Administrative Order that outlines a process which affords my office better access to police department internal affairs records. While I recognize that additional access is needed, this is a positive step towards greater accountability and transparency. I am appreciative of the Manager’s consideration in this matter and support of oversight, and I will continue to fight for greater accountability and ensuring that this community has the public safety oversight they expect and deserve". - Brandon Davis

Hall and Division Traffic Stop: 4/22/2021


Policing Public Reports

Policing in Grand Rapids 

We released an update on our independent comprehensive report on Policing in Grand Rapids on July 10, 2020.

Action Steps for Community-Police Relations

We've developed 10 action steps to improve community-police relations. Check them out below.

Action Steps Regarding Community-Police Relations

Police Reform Statements

Police Reform Memo

Our community shares the international frustration and anger over the murder of George Floyd and the systemic racism and oppression that continues to exist. We must now continue the work of undoing the system of inequality and racism that has plagued our communities for many generations.

View Memo

Police Reform Briefing

The City Manager provided an Emergency Response and Police Reform briefing to the City Commission on June 16, 2020.

View Briefing

Filing a Complaint 

Anyone may file a complaint against an employee of the Grand Rapids Police Department by calling, visiting, emailing the OPA or GRPD, or using an online submission form. Once a complaint is received, the Internal Affairs Unit conducts an objective investigation, and after a complaint is fully investigated, the Internal Affairs Unit renders a disposition, based on the facts and circumstances. 

For more information on how to file a complaint please click the link bellow:

Filing-a-Complaint-OPA-English.pdf(PDF, 221KB)

Filing-a-Complaint-OPA-Spanish.pdf(PDF, 177KB)

Filing-a-Complaint-OPA-French.pdf(PDF, 176KB)

Filing-a-Complaint-OPA-Swahili.pdf(PDF, 129KB)

To File a complaint with GRPD Internal Affairs please click the link bellow:

File a GRPD Internal Affairs Complaint

Civilian Appeal Board

The City Commission has determined to establish a Civilian Appeal Board (CAB) to act as a reviewing body for findings of fact made by the Grand Rapids Police Department.

For more information about CAB's responsibilities and CAB meeting details, please click the link bellow.

Grand Rapids Civilian Appeal Board

CAB Public Statements

In furtherance of OPA's mission to create and improve just outcomes and respectful relationships between public safety and community, OPA hosts several programs centered upon protecting civil rights; supporting effective policing; ensuring greater transparency and accountability in policing; increasing confidence in police; and repairing bridges of trust between the police and the community at-large. Visit the links below for more information.

Know Your Rights (KYR)

OPA hosts KYR workshops to equip Grand Rapidians with the knowledge they need to react safely when those rights are violated by the City's public safety departments.

Program Information

I AM THE DREAM: Civil Rights Youth Academy

The I AM THE Dream: Civil Rights Youth Academy is a civic engagement program created to equip middle school scholars with the knowledge and skills to become civic leaders in their communities and promote social justice.

Program Information

Community Informed Law Enforcement Training (CIT)

CIT is a joint initiative between OPA and the Grand Rapids Police Department that allows the community to submit ideas or proposals for trainings it would like law enforcement to participate in.

Program Information

Cure Violence

The City of Grand Rapids Office of Oversight and Public Accountability (OPA) recommended the evidence-based violence reduction program Cure Violence to the Public Safety Committee. The adoption of an evidence-based violence reduction and intervention program is consistent with the goals laid out in the City’s strategic planOPA’s strategic plan, and the Grand Rapids Police Department’s strategic plan.

For more information on how Cure Violence can help visit our Cure Violence page in the link below :

Cure Violence City of Grand Rapids

Press Release

Project Clean Slate

Project Clean Slate is a City initiative designed to help residents get their criminal records expunged in order to gain access to employment, housing, and educational opportunities. 

For further details about Project Clean Slate, Michigan's Clean Slate laws, eligibility for expungement, and upcoming expungement events please visit our Clean Slate Program page with the link bellow.

Event Info & Registration