Manager names interim director of oversight and public accountability

Published on August 22, 2019

Photograph of Brandon Davis, interim director of oversight and public accountability

In new role, Brandon Davis will build on City’s community safety efforts

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – City Manager Mark Washington has moved ahead with his commitment to strengthen public safety community relations and accountability by appointing Brandon Davis as interim director of the newly created Office of Oversight and Public Accountability. Davis, a senior labor relations specialist at the City of Grand Rapids for the past year, will serve as a liaison between the community and City on issues related to public safety.

In his new role, Davis will promote trust, excellence, transparency and accountability through independent and impartial monitoring and oversight of complaints related to public safety. The Police and Fire departments will continue to have their internal affairs investigative process. Davis will provide an additional avenue for complaint intake and publication of police commendations. He also will assist in investigating employee complaints and complaints related to the proposed human rights ordinance based on protected class in partnership with the City’s Diversity and Inclusion and Labor Relations offices. 

Davis will work with the police and fire chiefs to embed equity into all of their departmental policies and practices. He will evaluate police and fire internal affairs policies and current policing models to help develop innovative and equitable policing models, facilitate community engagement on police policies and decisions, and educate community members on law, process and policy. Davis also will serve as staff liaison to the Civilian Appeal Board, among other responsibilities. 

“This position is critically important as we continue to work to bridge concerns of the community and our police department around issues of fairness and justice and knowledge of social problems and community attitudes,” Washington said. “Mr. Davis has a high level of understanding of public safety operations and their challenges and a proven ability to build community relationships and maintain public trust. I expect him to help the community understand when officers do their job well and follow policy and help the department improve policy and hold officers accountable when needed.”   

This move aligns with the City’s Strategic Plan and is part of the community safety investments outlined in its Fiscal Year 2020 budget, which began July 1. It also aligns with recommendations from the Police Policy Procedure and Review Task Force

Before joining the City, Davis was a trial attorney in Muskegon County and handled felony cases as a senior assistant prosecutor. He began his law career in his hometown of Detroit, where he served as a defense attorney and Wayne County assistant prosecutor. He earned a law degree from Wayne State University and a bachelor’s degree in interpersonal and public communication from Central Michigan University. Davis’ continued education includes certification in diversity and inclusion from Cornell University and completion of the Urban Core Collectives’ Transformational Leaders program.

“Accountability, transparency and collaborative innovation are key to ensuring the success of the Office of Oversight and Public Accountability,” Davis said. “They’re the building blocks of bridging the gap between community and law enforcement. I look forward to partnering with community members and our public safety departments to advance this work to ensure all people feel safe and are safe at all times in our city.”

Tagged as: