CITIZENS GUIDE TO MAKING INQUIRIES, COMMENDATIONS, AND COMPLAINTS
COMMENDING EXCEPTIONAL PERFORMANCE
The best way to commend the actions of a police employee is to write a brief letter or email describing the incident and the actions you think were exceptional. Information such as the date, time and location, will help identify the officer if you do not know his or her name. If you do not wish to write, you may ask to speak with the officer’s supervisor and make a verbal commendation. Commendations received by the Chief of Police are forwarded to the employee, his or her supervisors and a copy is placed in their personnel file. Although our employees do not expect to be thanked for everything they do, recognition of exceptional service is always appreciated.
MAKING AN INQUIRY OR COMPLAINT
An inquiry or complaint may be made at any time. Additionally, complaints should be made within a reasonable time after the alleged misconduct occurred to help ensure evidence is still available and recollections of the incident fresh.
To register a complaint, contact a patrol supervisor at (314) 726-1112.
The complaint review procedure is not intended to resolve issues surrounding traffic citations or arrests for which criminal charges have been issued; such matters are to be resolved through the court system.
At any time, the complainant may contact St. Louis County or the Federal Bureau of Investigations if they feel their complaint is not properly addressed.
COMPLAINT REVIEW POLICY
To ensure the integrity of the Department and to maintain the confidence of the public, all complaints against the Department or its employees will be thoroughly investigated.
HOW COMPLAINTS WILL BE INVESTIGATED
Allegations that a Department employee was overbearing or failed to perform his or her duty to the satisfaction of the citizen will normally be investigated by the employee’s supervisor and may be referred to Internal Affairs.
Allegations that a Department employee exercised unnecessary force, was derelict or neglectful of his or her duty, engaged in oppressive conduct, or violated Federal, State, or local law will be investigated by Internal Affairs.
THE COMPLAINT REVIEW PROCEDURE
The Department will make every effort to investigate complaints of misconduct. Complaints submitted by persons unwilling to cooperate in an investigation will be investigated to the fullest extent possible. Complainants who cooperate in an investigation will be notified of the result of their investigation and are invited to periodically contact Internal Affairs to determine the status of their complaint.
Witnesses named by the complainant will be interviewed regarding the incident and their statements recorded. The involved employee(s) will be interviewed, as well as any additional witnesses discovered, and their statements will be recorded. If a criminal law violation is alleged, and there is sufficient evidence to support the allegation, a parallel criminal investigation will be conducted by the appropriate authority.
All complaints will be investigated to the extent allowed by available information. It is intended that most investigations will be concluded within 90 days, but more complex issues may require a lengthier time frame. Complainants will be notified, in writing, when the investigation has been concluded with the final results.
The Department fully accepts its responsibility to investigate all legitimate, factual complaints against its employees. It cannot, however, preclude its employees from seeking redress through the civil courts to allegations which the citizen knows to be false, malicious, or contrived. Department employees, like all citizens, have the right to legal recourse through the judicial system.