The newly established Office of Professional Accountability (OPA) is an independent office within the Richmond Police Department (RPD) that is committed to insuring that our employees provide the best service, individually and collectively, to the public. As part of our commitment to provide trusted, fair, and a neutral accountability system, a civilian Manager was hired on March 28, 2016, to oversee all of the functions of OPA including police internal investigations. This model of oversight is rare in the Nation because it places a civilian in the role to make independent and trusted findings to the Chief of Police as a result of internal investigations completed by police Sergeants.
Our mission is to constantly improve and achieve a more trusted and transparent accountability system. In order to do this, OPA focuses on six areas:
Investigation of complaints, facilitation of mediation services and audits of police performance.
Review use of force incidents, officer involved shootings and pursuits.
Examine patterns of behavior of officers to prevent future errant behavior.
Facilitate legal and judicial requests for information.
Evaluate police regulations and make policy and procedure recommendations.
Improve transparency by meeting, listening and collaborating with community members concerning accountability improvements or education on police procedures.
How It Works
Complaints of misconduct brought forward by the public or generated internally are documented and evaluated to determine how to best respond and proceed. Allegations of misconduct are independently investigated and recommended findings are certified and forwarded to command staff personnel (Captain or above) for review or discipline recommendations. To initiate a complaint, you may start the process by completely the Service/Complaint Form.
The Chief of Police, who retains sole authority, makes a final determination as to the findings or discipline. The citizen is then informed of the results of the investigation. If the citizen is dissatisfied with the result, he/she may contact the Chief of Police or file an appeal with the Citizen’s Police Review Commission (CPRC).
Compliment an RPD Employee
We are also always happy to hear compliments of employees. When you extend a compliment to an employee we will assure they receive your message. Compliments are stored in employee's personnel file and are reflected in annual employee evaluations. If you which to compliment an employee you may visit the Compliment an RPD Employee page on this website.
Citizen's Police Review Commission
The Professional Standards Unit investigates any allegation of misconduct of an employee. The Citizen's Police Review Commission is an independent investigative body that looks into complaints against the police related to:
The use of excessive or unnecessary force and racially abusive treatment
Handling appeals from Professional Standards investigations
Reviewing and evaluating the policies, practices and procedures contained in the Richmond Police Department Policy Manual
Developing programs and strategies to promote positive police-community relations