Notice to the Public Regarding Formal Complaints

March 6, 2019 05:40 AM

Frequently asked questions pertaining to the Police Department complaint process: 

Can I speak to a supervisor even if I do not intend to file a formal complaint? Yes.  Any person may discuss issues pertaining to employee conduct with supervisors or the department administrative personnel. 

Who may file a complaint? Any person may file a complaint about a police department employee.  The person filing the complaint must have direct knowledge of the incident.   

What department personnel takes the complaint? Complaints may be filed with any supervisor, usually above the rank of the employee (s) involved in the complaint, with his or her immediate supervisor.  Complaints may also be filed with the following Administrative Division personnel: Patrol Division Commander – Michael Bork and Investigations Division Commander – Kevin Wagner.
What issues are not open to the complaint process? Typically, matters involving issues that will be decided in the courts are not open to the complaint process.  These issues would include the merits of traffic citations or other summons and filing of criminal charges. 

Does the complaint have to be in writing? Most complaints begin by speaking to the supervisor and many are resolved at that level.   If, after speaking to the supervisor, your complaint is not resolved or you wish to file a formal complaint, it then must be put in writing.  Serious complaints of gross misconduct or illegal activities will be made in writing. 

What will happen after I file a complaint? You will be advised that the complaint has been received and that it is being investigated.  After the complaint has been investigated and a conclusion has been reached, you will be notified of the outcome.  During the course of the investigation, you may be called upon to provide additional statements and if necessary, to testify at a civil or criminal hearing. 

Are there repercussions for filing a false complaint against a department employee? On occasion, persons use the complaint process as retaliation or due to not agreeing with being arrested, issued a citation, or the outcome of their incident.  Indiana State Statute 35-44-2-2 makes it a criminal act to file a false complaint against a Law Enforcement Officer.  The department will prosecute any person who files a false complaint against an officer.  The maximum criminal penalty for this act is 180 days in the county jail, and a fine of $1000.00.  In addition, persons filing a false complaint may be subject to civil actions.

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