Comments and Commendations

Once you have read the following information, please fill out this form.

Each year police officers, dispatchers and other police department employees have thousands of contacts with people. In some cases, individuals may question why an incident was handled in a particular way. In addition, they may wish to acknowledge the employee involved. In other situations, they may disagree with the actions of a department employee.

The Greenwood Police Department values the feedback it receives from the community as a means to evaluate current policies. For example, if a particular policy routinely generates questions from citizens, the policy may need to be changed or employee training may need to be increased in that area. Occasionally, an employee's actions may be inappropriate and warrant corrective action.

The Greenwood Police Department takes people's concerns seriously. We believe the public is entitled to efficient, fair and impartial service. We investigate all allegations of employee misconduct, respond to inquiries about employee actions or department policy and document all commendations received from the public.

We formally investigate allegations and inquiries for the following reasons:

  • To protect citizens from actual misconduct by an employee.
  • To protect the department and those employees who conduct themselves appropriately.
  • To identify policies and procedures that may need review or change and to find ways to improve the quality of our service to the community.

These complaints can come from:

  • The aggrieved person
  • A third party with specific knowledge of the incident
  • An anonymous source
  • A government entity or other government employee
  • The news media
  • Agency or agency employee
  • Notice of civil claim

The Greenwood Police Department does not consider a disagreement over the elements of a traffic citation or parking ticket to be a complaint. This matter is best resolved by the court as a neutral fact finder. You should realize that current criminal or traffic charges pending are not affected by this investigation.

The Complaint Process

If you choose to make a complaint we will follow a formal procedure to ensure that your complaint is thoroughly investigated. When you file a complaint, you will be asked for your name, address, a telephone number where you can be reached, and details of your complaint including date, time, location, name of involved Police Department employee(s), if known, and any witnesses you know of who has specific information about the police encounter and complaint.

When we receive your complaint, the Internal Affairs Unit will send you a letter to inform you that your complaint has been received and assigned for investigation. The assigned investigator will conduct a thorough investigation. The investigator will contact you to determine whether you have further information to assist in the investigation. You will be asked to participate in a tape recorded interview, which will be conducted at a mutually agreed location. You will not be required to come to the police station if you do not wish to.

The investigator will assemble all relevant documents and other evidence. The involved police employee and all witnesses will also be interviewed and these interview will be tape recorded. Normally, the investigation will be complete within 30 days after we receive your complaint. You will be notified if the timeline is any different.

The Decision

The Greenwood Police Department will make decisions based on the facts available from the investigation. The Greenwood Police Department decisions are:

Sustained—The employee acted improperly

Not sustained—The complaint can neither be proved or disproved.

Exonerated—The action alleged did not occur OR the action was proper and consistent with department policy and practice.

Unfounded—The available evidence does not support the complaint.

If an allegation is sustained, appropriate action will be taken. The action may involve counseling, verbal, or written reprimand, suspension from duty, demotion, or termination. You will be informed of the outcome of your complaint; however, it is our policy not to discuss the specific personnel action taken in sustained cases.

Other Information

The Greenwood Police Department regularly checks police records of people with whom we may have contact, including people who file complaints. This is a routine investigative technique in any police matter; the police records of the police employees involved are also checked. We advise you of this to ensure that should you have an outstanding warrant, we would encourage you to deal with this with the issuing court. If a police officer has contact with you and is aware of the warrant, the officer is legally compelled to bring you in front of the court which often means you will be arrested.

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