Office of Policing Reform and Accountability (OPRA)
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. "Crystal's experience with the Harris County District Attorney's Office will be instrumental to improving police policies and building mutual trust with our diverse communities." As the first person to hold this position, Okorafor will investigate complaints and work closely with the Independent Police Oversight Board (IPOB).
Click graphic above to download the Policing Reform Report Flyer in .pdf
A Message from Deputy Inspector General Okorafor
Our great city has shown incredible resilience and conviction as we faced unprecedented challenges. Over the last few years we have faced difficult personal challenges, but through those difficult times the Office of Policing Reform and Accountability (OPRA) has continued to make great strides towards improving police policies and rebuilding the trust between the community and Houston Police Department (HPD).
The murder of George Floyd in 2020 and rising inequality renewed difficult conversations in the city and around the country about race, diversity and inclusion. These conversations led to Mayor Turner convening the Mayor’s Task Force on Policing Reform and the creation of this office through an executive order in April of 2021. Some of the key recommendations accomplished included the creation of the City of Houston Police Transparency Hub website, 30-day release of HPD body-worn cameras, reforms to the Independent Police Oversight Board and crisis intervention programs.
The OPRA has worked with local leaders to achieve the goals of the community and this office. The Task Force gave a blueprint for the start of change. As we move forward into the years ahead, the OPRA will continue to foster new partnerships, build relationships, process data, and create policies for advancement of a better Houston.
Deputy Inspector General
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 though 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.
- Deputy Inspector General Crystal Okorafor supporting Senate Bill 2287 on emergency detention orders in Senate Criminal Justice - April 25, 2023
- Deputy Inspector General Crystal Okorafor against Senate Bill 2209 on police oversight restrictions in Senate Local Government – April 3, 2023
- Cornyn, Houston leaders applaud $124M in federal funds granted for Texas police de-escalation training
- Houston officials talk 'de-escalation' training for law enforcement to prevent violent outcomes
- City of Houston Launches Police Transparency Hub Initiative Tied to Policing Reform Implementation
- Learn more about policing reform implementation: https://www.houstontx.gov/mayor/press/2021/policing-reform-recommendations.html