What is the Office of Police Oversight Monitor?
The purpose of the Office of the Police Oversight Monitor (OPOM) is to promote public confidence in the professionalism and accountability of the sworn staff of the Fort Worth Police Department (FWPD). This will be accomplished by independent review and monitor of citizen complaint investigations and use of force incidents; recommended changes to departmental policy, procedures and practices; audit of departmental practices including data review and analyses; collaboration with the FWPD on problem-solving efforts to address root causes after the identification of patterns; mediation efforts; and conducting on-going community-police engagement outreach as well as dissemination of information regarding OPOM and its activities including periodic reporting. These responsibilities are key to reduce incidents of alleged police misconduct, and ultimately, improve relationships between the community and FWPD. OPOM is also tasked with providing a recommendation to the City Administration and City Council on a community oversight group. OPOM is currently collaborating with community and city stakeholders to determine the most appropriate and sustainable approach to community oversight for the city of Fort Worth.
Is the Office of the Police Oversight Monitor part of the Fort Worth Police Department?
No. OPOM works independently of the Fort Worth Police Department and provides the city’s leaders and the community with objective, unbiased reporting on policing data and OPOM activities and outcomes.
Can the OPOM assist me with a citation I received or with my court case?
Unfortunately, OPOM cannot provide any legal advice or assistance. You should seek guidance from a licensed attorney. Other possible pro bono or low-cost legal assistance options may be available. Please visit https://www.tarrantcounty.com/en/law-library/free-low-cost-legal-assistance for further information.
What is the Individual Review Panel?
The city selected national police reform experts to serve on a third-party panel and review Fort Worth Police Department policies and practices. This Independent Review Panel(PDF, 362KB).
Who can file a complaint?
Any member of the public can file a complaint. You do not need to be a Fort Worth resident or a U.S. citizen to file a complaint.
How do I file a complaint?
OPOM office accepts complaints about the Fort Worth Police Department via the following methods:
What information do I need to provide?
Please provide all required information listed on the form; this includes the detailed description of the event(s) that led to this complaint such as date, time and location of the event(s). Per Tex. Loc. Gov’t Code Ann. Chapter 143, in order for your complaint to be fully investigated by the FWPD, your signature must be provided and verified under oath by an authorized public official. Information requested includes the names of the officer(s) involved, the names of potential witness(es), and your contact and demographic information. Your complaint must be a true and accurate account of the incident to the best of your knowledge. The more information you can provide, the better it will assist OPOM and FWPD in the complaint investigation process.
What if I don't know which policy or procedure the officer may have violated?
If you do not know the specific policy or procedure or whether a certain kind of behavior by an officer is against the FWPD policy or procedure, always feel free to contact OPOM for further information.
What is the Complaint Investigation Process?
It is important that complaints be filed as soon as possible after the incident. According to Tex. Loc. Gov’t Code Ann. Chapter 143, any disciplinary action against an officer must be issued within 180 days of the incident. Therefore, it is imperative that a complaint is submitted as soon as possible after the incident. The following outlines the complaint process after a completed complaint form is received by our office.
- The Office of the Police Monitor receives your complaint.
- OPOM acknowledges receipt of your complaint.
- OPOM reviews and forwards your complaint to Fort Worth Police Department Internal Affairs for review and/or investigation. The FWPD complaint investigation can take up to 90 days.
- OPOM monitors the FWPD investigation.
- OPOM reviews the completed FWPD Internal Affairs investigation and provides recommendations to the FWPD as appropriate.
- OPOM notifies you once the review is completed.
Can I file an anonymous complaint?
Yes. You may choose to file an anonymous complaint; however, you must have first-hand knowledge of the incident, which means it must be an incident that you witnessed or were directly involved. Please note, should you choose to be anonymous, we will not be able to contact you with potential follow-up questions or provide you any information about the case. If you would like for our office to follow up with you, please be sure to provide your first and last name, phone number, and/or email or mailing address.
How do I commend a Fort Worth Police Officer?
To thank a Fort Worth Police officer when he or she provides exceptional service to you, complete the FWPD Commendation Form (PDF)(PDF, 270KB) or call us at (817) 392-6535. If you provide your contact information, OPOM can keep you posted on its status.
Can I request public records form the Office of the Police Monitor?
All public records request must be submitted to the Public Records & Information Center. To find out more information about the public records request process, please visit the Public Records & Information Center website or call (817) 392-8184.
How is the OPOM involved with the Fort Worth community?
Part of OPOM’s mission is to educate the public about our work; this includes how to file a complaint and collaborate with the community regarding the FWPD.
Also, OPOM representatives create programming, events and attend existing community events. If you are interested in having OPOM meet with your community group or organization, please email PoliceOversight@fortworthtexas.gov or call (817) 392-6535.
How will the OPOM keep the public informed?
The OPOM will publicly release periodic reports. These reports will outline our activities, provide an analysis of trends in FWPD policing including complaints and commendations, and provide an overview of OPOM policy and procedure recommendations made to FWPD. Other venues in which we may share this information include OPOM’s website, newsletter and social media platforms as well as the City of Fort Worth’s listserv. We also will continue to engage the community and FWPD by hosting and/or participating in community meetings, engagements and workshops.
To stay up-to-date on the activities of our office, you can visit us on the following platforms:
If at any time, you would like OPOM to mail information to community members who may not have access to these platforms, please contact us. We want to ensure that our information is accessible to all of the Fort Worth community.
We also welcome your comments and feedback. It is our mission to serve as a voice for all community members related to OPOM or FWPD activities. Thank you for allowing us to serve you!