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The agency’s image and reputation depend on the personal integrity and discipline of all agency employees. To a large degree, the public image of the agency is determined by a professional response to allegations of misconduct against its employees. The agency must competently and impartially investigate all allegations of misconduct by employees and complaints bearing on the agency’s response to community needs. The agency recognizes that its personnel are often subject to intense pressures in the discharge of their duties. The employee must remain neutral under circumstances that are likely to generate tension, excitement, and emotion. In these situations, actions and events frequently result in misunderstanding and confusion. It is to the advantage of all employees to have a procedure for the investigation of the more serious allegations and underlying circumstances so that complaints can be resolved in light of the complicated pressures of law enforcement work.
The agency encourages any person to bring forward grievances regarding misconduct by employees. Agency members shall receive all complaints courteously and shall handle them efficiently. All deputies are obligated to explain complaint procedures to anyone who inquires.
All complaints, regardless of nature, can be filed in person, by mail, or by phone at any time. As part of the follow-up investigation, persons making complaints by mail or phone normally shall be interviewed and a written, signed complaint prepared. A signed letter of complaint will be accepted as a signed complaint without requiring any specific form. Anonymous complaints shall be followed up to the extent possible.
Every effort shall be made to facilitate the convenient, courteous, and prompt receipt and processing of any person’s complaint. An employee of the agency, who interferes with, discourages, or delays the making of complaints shall be subject to disciplinary action.
Normally, a person with a complaint shall be referred to a supervisor or designee who shall assist the individual in recording pertinent information. If initially reported to a supervisor, the first-line supervisor shall conduct a preliminary investigation. The preliminary investigation consists of questioning the deputy, complainants, or witnesses, and securing evidence.
Complaints received by telephone by dispatchers or other employees shall be courteously and promptly referred to chief deputy or designee. The dispatcher or employee shall record the name and telephone number of the complainant and state that the chief deputy or, if unavailable, the supervisor will call back as soon as practical.
An employee who receives a complaint through U.S. mail shall place the correspondence and envelope in a sealed envelope and forward it to the chief deputy or designee, who shall determine investigative responsibility.
In every case, the chief deputy will be notified of any complaint as soon as possible by the supervisor receiving the complaint. Complaints received overnight will be brought to the chief deputy or their designee’s attention the next workday. Complaints alleging a violation of the law or any serious violation should be reported immediately regardless of the time of day.
The chief deputy or his designee shall notify the complainant, in writing, as soon as practical, that the agency acknowledges receipt of the complaint, that it is under investigation and that the complainant will be advised of the outcome.
All investigations will be completed within 45 days to include the taking of disciplinary action when necessary. If additional time is necessary to conclude the investigation, a request for extension will be presented to the chief deputy in writing providing justification for the extension. If approved by the chief deputy, a specific number of days will be approved and a copy will be provided to the involved deputy and the original placed in the case file.
Upon completion of any investigation, the chief deputy will notify the complainant in writing, of the results of the investigation and any action taken.
Note: Our ability to successfully resolve your complaint in most cases is directly related to the amount of information you are able to provide and your willingness to cooperate with the staff assigned to resolve your issue.