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 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 of public safety is an important 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.

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


Strategic Plan Feedback

The Office of Oversight and Public Accountability (OPA) was created to serve as the liaison between Public Safety and the community. OPA works to create mutual trust and respect between our public safety departments and the community we serve. You'll watch a series of short videos and review the strategic plan. Then we'll ask for your feedback.

Leave Feedback

Public Safety Alignment and Governance Report

7/13/2021

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. We also released the FY 2021 (July 1, 2020 - June 30, 2021) Police Budget.

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

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

Upcoming Events

Any current event is being assessed properly to keep COVID Restrictions in mind.


Processing Trauma

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

Viewers were able to call into 311 or 616-456-3000 to provide your questions to the panelists.

View Livestream

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.


Press Release

Programs

Let's Talk About It: Social Justice

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 2020