Citizen Complaint Process

WHAT IS A CITIZEN COMPLAINT?

A citizen complaint is an allegation from any source, of any action or inaction by Division personnel that the individual considers being contrary to law, proper procedure, good order or in some manner prejudicial to the individual, the Police Division or to the community.

If the only complaint is a contention of innocence of a charge without any allegation of misconduct by a sworn officer, you should seek judicial redress through established court procedure.

WHO HANDLES CITIZEN COMPLAINTS?

Complaints about the quality of service provided will be assigned to the employee's immediate supervisor by the Chief of Police. Examples of these complaints are:

  • Discourtesy/Unprofessional Attitude
  • Lack of Proper Service
  • Improper Procedure (e.g. offense investigation, use of discretion, official law enforcement practices, etc.)

Allegations of misconduct will be handled by the Chief of Police and/or the judicial system. Examples of these complaints are:

  • Criminal Conduct
  • Sexual misconduct
  • Use of excessive force
  • Unnecessary pointing of firearms at persons
  • Serious misconduct (severe nature or pattern of violations, lack of service, etc.)
  • Improper searches and seizures
  • Discrimination

HOW DO I FILE A COMPLAINT?

A complaint can be filed in writing, verbally, in person or by mail, telephone, facsimile or electronic mail. All police personnel are authorized to take complaints, including third party and anonymous complaints. A Newark Division of Police Department Citizen Complaint Form will be completed each time a complaint is filed.

WHAT INFORMATION DO I NEED TO PROVIDE?

On the Citizen Complaint Form you will be requested to give your name, address, phone numbers where you can be reached and the name, address, and phone numbers of any witnesses. If you choose to remain anonymous, the complaint will be investigated but the process will become more difficult without contact information due to the ability to further clarify the complaint and investigate fully is compromised. 

You will need to provide the date, time, and facts of the incident. If you have the officer's name, badge number, shift assignment, or car number it would be helpful, but is not necessary.

HOW WILL MY COMPLAINT BE RESOLVED?

Each complaint will be resolved in writing. Your complaint will be assigned a number which will be provided to you. This number will be used to follow your complaint through the process.

A quality of service complaint will be assigned to a supervisor and fully investigated. You may be asked to appear at our Police Department for an interview or it might be handled over the telephone.

Any serious allegation described above will be handled by the Chief of Police and/or by any of the Bureau Commanders. This may include asking for assistance from another police agency or the Licking County Prosecutor's Office. In either case the complaint will be fully investigated.

Once the complaint is filed you will be contacted and thoroughly informed of the process that will follow. You will also be kept informed as the process progresses.

Upon completion of the investigation a report will be forwarded to the Chief of Police for final disposition. Once the report is approved, you will be informed in writing of the outcome of the investigation of your complaint including whether any non-disciplinary corrective action or disciplinary action was taken unless you choose to remain anonymous.

It is a violation of Ohio law to file a false complaint against a police officer (ORC 2921.15).


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To file a complaint, please click on the link below and print a copy of the form to complete.
 

Citizen Complaint Form