AUSTIN (KXAN) — The director of the Austin Police oversight office has resigned effective next week.
Farah Muscadin served in the role after initially stepping in as the interim Police Monitor. According to a memo, while on leave after giving birth in January, Muscadin made the decision to focus on growing her family and caring for her parents, who live out of state.
While in office, she helped establish an online feedback form, making it easier for community members to voice their appreciation or file complaints about their interactions with officers, the memo read in part. She also helped restructure the office’s website to facilitate an easier way to proactively share information with the public.
The memo said that Muscadin also influenced changes to police policies and the training academy curriculum, issued the Office of Police Oversight’s first and recurring annual report, and established the City’s Community Police Review Commission.
Sylvia Hardman will serve as acting director while the office launches a national search for a new director.
The office has been in the public’s eye in the midst of a debate on police accountability. Earlier this month, City Council failed to adopt the Austin Police Oversight Act, and instead passed it to voters to decide on in May.
After a local nonprofit collected enough signatures to put the Act before Austin City Council, the council was required to vote to either adopt the act or send it to voters.
According to Austin Equity, the act would improve transparency and civilian oversight of the Austin Police Department. It would also give Austin’s Office of Police Oversight access to all police records, end the practices of keeping police personnel records private and allow OPO to make discipline recommendations.