About Citizen Complaints
A citizen complaint is an allegation from any source of any action or inaction by Police Department personnel that the individual considers being contrary to law, proper procedure, good order or in some manner prejudicial to the individual, the Police Department or to the community.
If the only complaint is a contention of innocence of a charge without any allegation of misconduct by the officer, you should seek judicial redress through established court procedure.
It is a violation of Ohio law to file a false complaint against a police officer (Ohio Revised Code 2921.15).
Who Handles Citizen Complaints?
Quality-Of-Service Complaints will be handled through the Citizen Complaint Resolution Process (CCRP). Examples of these complaints are:
- Discourtesy/unprofessional attitude
- Lack of proper service
- Improper procedure (ex.: offense investigation, use of discretion, official law enforcement practices and Police Department Procedures)
Misconduct Allegations will be handled by the Internal Investigations Section 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 (ex.: severe nature or pattern of procedural violations, lack of service, etc.)
- Improper searches and seizures
How Do I File A Complaint?
A complaint can be filed in writing, verbally, in person or by mail, telephone, Telephone Device for Deaf (TDD), fax or e-mail.
Police personnel at the front desk of each district station are authorized to take complaints, including third-party complaints, which persons may file at any district station.
A Cincinnati Police Department Citizen Complaint Form will be completed each time a complaint is filed.
What Information Do I Need?
On the Cincinnati Police Department 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.
You will also need to provide the date, time and facts of the incident. If you have the officer's name, badge number, unit of 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 unique identifier which will be provided to you. This number will be used to follow your complaint through the process.
Quality-Of-Service Complaints will be assigned to a supervisor and fully investigated.
- Upon completion of the investigation you will be asked to attend a resolution meeting.
- The resolution meeting is a sincere effort by all parties to discuss and resolve the complaint.
Misconduct Allegations will be assigned to an investigator and fully investigated.
- Upon completion of this investigation a report will be forwarded to the Police Chief 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.