OPA Complaint Process

WHAT TYPE OF COMPLAINT CAN I FILE?

OPA handles all complaints involving SPD employees. OPA considers whether the type of misconduct alleged, if true, would violate Department policies and procedures, or may constitute a violation of law. OPA will document your complaint and either investigate it or share it with the appropriate unit within the Department for follow up.

IS IT SAFE TO MAKE A COMPLAINT?

Yes. Department policies prohibit retaliation against citizens for making a complaint. We encourage those who make a complaint to provide their names and other identifying information, because it allows follow-up for additional information that might be crucial to the investigation, however, we do accept anonymous complaints. We also accept complaints from outside agencies and from witnesses or other third parties reporting on behalf of others.

There are numerous ways to file a complaint.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

Will my complaint be investigated?

Depending on the seriousness of the allegation, your complaint may be resolved with information from the section or referral to the officer's supervisor for review. Other complaints will receive further investigative efforts. You will be notified on how your complaint will be resolved.

Who will investigate my complaint?

Every complaint is documented and reviewed by the Captain of the Investigation Section and the Director of the OPA, who is not a police officer. Complaints requiring investigation will be investigated by police sergeants, who work in the Investigation Section of the Office of Professional Accountability, or by other sergeants working under their direction.

The Investigation Section will forward its investigation and recommended findings for review by the civilian Director of the OPA. The Director may concur with the recommended findings, direct additional investigation, or recommend a different finding to the Chief of Police.

Depending on the circumstances of your complaint, it may also be referred for review/investigation to the commander of the employee named on your complaint.

What happens if my complaint is assigned for further investigation?

You will receive a notice that includes the case number assigned to your complaint. It is very important that you continue to participate in the complaint process. You may be asked to give a more complete, tape-recorded statement. YOu may also be asked for documentation that relates to your complaint and, if appropriate, you may be asked to allow photographs of any injury or property damage, and to consent to the release of medical records associated with your complaint.

How long will it take for my complaint to be investigated?

Some allegations can be resolved by discussion with the OPA-IS investigator or by a superior. These are usually resolved within 60 days. If further investigation is required, it will likely take longer. Efforts are made to complete the investigations within 180 days, though some cases may take longer. If you have any questions during the process of your complaint or have not heard from our office about the status of your case, you are encouraged to call and check on the status of your investigation.

Will I be notified of the outcome of my complaint?

If you do not agree with the classification or results of the investigation of your complaint, you may submit a letter to the OPA Director requesting reconsideration. The OPA Director will review the investigation, determine if it was handled properly, and notify you of the review findings in writing.

What if I disagree or am unhappy with the outcome of my complaint?

If you do not agree with the classification or results of the investigation of your complaint, you may submit a letter to the OPA Director requesting reconsideration. The OPA Director will review the investigation, determine if it was handled properly, and notify you of the review findings in writing.