Making a Complaint Against an Officer

Any resident or citizen may make a complaint against a police officer for misconduct, unfair treatment, and policy or procedure violations, among other inappropriate behavior. Complaints alleging corruption, brutality, improper use of force, breach of civil rights and criminal misconduct are conducted by Criminal Investigations detectives. Others complaints are reviewed by Division Commanders or other supervisory staff.

Process for filing a complaint

  1. The complainant should first talk with the on-duty supervisor, who will discuss Departmental policy as it relates to the specific incident. This may be done in person or by telephone.
  2. If the citizen wishes to make a formal charge, a Citizen Complaint Form (available in English or Spanish) is provided. The supervisor is responsible for making sure the form is completely filled out, legible, and signed. A photocopy will be given to the citizen.
    • A charge alleging brutality must be filed within 90 days by an individual with first-hand knowledge of the event. Also, such complaints must be notarized; the department’s Administrative staff can provide notary services during normal business hours.
  3. Investigations should be concluded within 30 to 60 days, depending on the type of complaint. Investigations will be postponed until conclusion of any court case, if the event involves one. Interim reports are required periodically for uncompleted inquiries.

Investigations are conducted in accordance with the Law Enforcement Officer’s Bill of Rights. The Professional Standards Manager supervises the complaint process, including notification of the citizen at the investigation’s conclusion.

The Professional Standards Manager will review any complaint believed to have been made falsely against a police employee and contact the State’s Attorney’s office to request a review when necessary.