In August of 2019 City Manager Washington created the Office of Oversight and Public Accountability. In doing so, he created the opportunity for our city and community to foster true fundamental change regarding systemic power, policy and personnel issues that have eroded trust between community and police for generations.
While this unique opportunity is welcomed, we know the vision and impact of this office will rest heavily on the skill and character of the person chosen to lead it. This person’s decisions will set precedents and expectations, develop the intentional relationships necessary to bridge existing divides, and establish the metrics for which success and failure will be measured. That’s precisely why we believe that Brandon Davis is the best person to lead this work. He possesses not only the technical skills and experience, but also the quality of character needed to lead this difficult work. We strongly support his hire as the first Director of the Office of Oversight and Public Accountability.
Since being appointed as Interim Director, Mr. Davis has centered community voices in his work and recognized the hard truths that have brought us to this moment. Through community and organizational input he’s carefully crafted a vision that’s focused in its approach yet adaptive to our city’s needs. Furthermore, Brandon’s experience as a senior assistant prosecutor, assistant prosecutor, City of Grand Rapids employee and his lived experience give him a critical and well-rounded approach to all aspects of police and community relations.
The mission statement of the office reads: Through targeted change, accountability, restorative justice, empowerment and engagement; the OPA will help create and improve just outcomes and respectful relationships between public safety and community. It’s our view that Mr. Davis has successfully laid the groundwork for the organizational leadership described in this mission. He’s also taken the time to intentionally build the foundation of relational trust with the community that’s necessary to turn the office’s mission from words to reality. He deserves to see this work through. The community deserves his intellect, effort, integrity and passion in this role.