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Make a Complaint Against an Officer

About the Complaint Process

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.

A charge alleging brutality must be filed within 366 days by an “aggrieved individual,” family member, person present at the alleged incident or someone who “has video recording of the incident, that, to the individual’s knowledge, is unaltered,” or, the parents of a minor child.  Also, such complaints must be  signed and sworn to under penalty of perjury.

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 complainant wishes to make a formal charge, a Citizen Complaint Form (available in English or Spanish) is provided.  A photocopy of the completed form will be given to the citizen.
  3. Investigations are 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.

Takoma Park Police Department Sections