Office of Policing Reform and Accountability
HOW TO FILE A COMPLAINT OR COMPLIMENT
There are several ways you can submit a complaint about an unsatisfactory interaction you had with an officer of the Houston Police Department:
- Through an online form by visiting the Houston Police Transparency Hub website;
- Emailing our office at COH_Policing_Reform@houstontx.gov ; or
- Calling our office at (832) 393-6772 (OPRA)
When you complete the online form and include your contact information, our staff will follow up with you within three (3) - four (4) business days. In order to launch a formal investigation, state law requires you to submit notarized affidavit. We are happy to help you through that process.
The online form also allows you to submit an anonymous complaint. Because there is no contact information in an anonymous complaint, OPRA cannot follow up and meet the criteria for a formal investigation. However, anonymous complaints are reviewed and may lead to internal, informal investigations.
State law limits disciplinary action at 180 days after the incident, so we encourage you to complete the complaint process within that timeline.
You may submit a compliment by emailing our office at COH_Policing_Reform@houstontx.gov.
HOUSTON POLICE TRANSPARENCY HUB
This website provides the public with data, resources and information about the Houston Police Department including, but not limited to:
Cite and Release Data: Cite and Release refers to incidents where a police officer issued a citation, but did not arrest the person. Article 14.06(c) of the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure allows a police officer to issue a citation in lieu of arrest for certain misdemeanor offense. The Houston Police Department participates in a Cite and Release program initiated by Harris County. This dashboard reflects data reported to and from Harris County as part of this program. The data in this dashboard starts on September 30, 2020 and is updated every month.
Traffic Stops Data: Data about traffic stops allow you to look at the reasons behind a traffic stop, the reasons behind a search, and the demographics of the person being stopped. Article 2.131 of the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure requires police departments to submit an annual report of traffic stops for transparency about racial profiling.
Use of Force Data: The Use of Force dashboard visualizes data about HPD encounters and outcomes where force was required. It allows you to filter based on the reason for the encounter, the outcome of the encounter, and the race/ethnicity of the subject and officer.
Disciplinary Actions Data: The HPD Disciplinary Actions dashboard allows you to view a history of disciplinary actions, the reasons for the discipline, and the outcomes of the action. The dashboard provides this data down to the individual officer, as well as how long they have been on HPD's force at the time of discipline.
HPD Diversity Data: The HPD Diversity dashboard shows the diversity of the department by rank, as well as the demographics of the City of Houston at large. You can filter these statistics by rank, as well as by time with the department.
Corrective Action Manual: The Corrective Action Manual establishes the rules for employee discipline.
General Orders: These orders establish the policies and procedures of the Houston Police Department.
Meet & Confer: This agreement outlines the labor relationship between the City of Houston and HPD.
A Message from Deputy Inspector General Nowak
As I take on this new role, I want to first acknowledge the great strides the Office of Policing Reform and Accountability (OPRA) has made since its creation in April 2021. As we as a City implement the community policing philosophy, we have developed a deeper understanding of what it means to partner with the community. The community is not merely the people living or working within the city, but also the city’s nonprofit and community-based organizations, local businesses and also important, governmental agencies. HPD has joined us in strengthening and advancing their community policing efforts and we have seen real change in our city.
Over the past two years, OPRA has worked with local leaders to achieve the goals of the community and this office. Some of the accomplishments include the creation of the City of Houston Police Transparency Hub website, 30-day release of body worn cameras, reforms to the Independent Police Oversight Board, and crisis intervention programs. The Mayor’s Task Force on Policing Reform gave a blueprint for the start of change. In the beginning of 2023, the OPRA has completed 70% of the 104 Task Force recommendations.
I want the OPRA to be a place where community members feel comfortable discussing ideas and improvements. I believe creating an open dialogue is the road to success. This office continues to grow and evolve, and my goal is to help further create an oversight system that is both proactive and reactive. We all have the same goal, to make our communities safer and to create policies for advancement of a better Houston.
September 13, 2023 -- Mayor Sylvester Turner announced today the appointment of Christina Nowak as the Deputy Inspector General (DIG) of the Office of Policing Reform and Accountability for the City of Houston. Nowak will investigate complaints and work closely with the Independent Police Oversight Board (IPOB). A native Houstonian raised in Alief, Nowak obtained her Bachelor of Arts from the University of Texas at Austin and her Juris Doctor from the South Texas College of Law. She replaces Crystal Okorafor, whom Mayor Turner appointed in 2021 as the City's first DIG. Okorafor resigned for a position in the private sector.
On April 29, 2021, Mayor Sylvester Turner outlined his plans to implement a significant number of the recommendations submitted by the Mayor's Task Force on Policing Reform to improve accountability, transparency, change police policies and build mutual trust and respect with the community. Mayor Turner appointed Crystal Okorafor as the City's Deputy Inspector General (DIG) in the new Office of Policing Reform and Accountability (OPRA). Okorafor is a former assistant district attorney with the Harris County District Attorney’s Office. The Deputy Inspector General will serve as an ‘ombudsman’ for the citizens of Houston and is key to restoring and maintaining the confidence of the public," said Mayor Sylvester Turner.