How to make a complaint of misconduct
The primary goal of the Greeley Police Department is to provide the people of this city with the best possible police service. One way to help achieve this goal is the public complaint process. The individual who feels that an officer has acted wrongly and who brings the matter to the attention of those in charge, provides the Department with an opportunity to look into the problem. It is through this process that the individual can help maintain the high standards of quality that the Department demands and the community deserves.
Where to complain
If you feel that a police officer is guilty of misconduct, you may make a complaint at the Police Department or you may telephone the Police Department. When you contact the Police Department, either in person or by telephone, tell the person you contact that you would like to speak to a police supervisor and that you wish to make a complaint against a police officer. It is important that you request to speak to a supervisor rather than attempting to give all the details to the person you first contact. Otherwise, you may end up repeating your story unnecessarily.
Talking to the supervisor
The police supervisor will sit down with you and discuss what has happened. Sometimes he may be able to resolve your problem simply by talking it over with you. Perhaps the supervisor will want to look into the matter further. If, after discussing the problem with the supervisor, you wish to make a formal complaint regarding any matter, he will assist you by reducing it to writing. If the supervisor refuses to take your complaint, you should notify the Office of the Chief of Police or the Internal Investigation Section.
In talking with the supervisor, you may discover that your complaint actually concerns departmentally approved polices or procedures rather than the conduct of an individual officer. If this is the case, and it cannot be explained to your satisfaction, you complaint will be directed to the section of the Police Department responsible for that particular area of activity.
Handling formal personnel complaints
If a formal personnel complaint is taken, it will ultimately be referred to the Internal Investigations Section. Internal Investigations is responsible for the coordination of all investigations into allegations of officer misconduct. Internal Investigations will contact you when they receive your complaint.
Whenever possible, an investigator will talk to you at length as part of the investigation. An investigator will also talk to all other witnesses and involved parties and will complete a report of the investigation. This can be very time consuming and involved, but it is important that all of the relevant facts are known. After the investigation is completed and has been thoroughly reviewed, and the appropriate action taken, you will be notified in writing of the results.
Complaints regarding matters other than officer misconduct complaints shall be referred to the departmental unit having jurisdiction over the matter and you will be notified in writing of the results.
Criminal charges and the Court
Many times people who have been arrested feel that they are not guilty of the charge. However, the validity of the arrest and the guilt or innocence of the person involved must be determined by a Court of Law, not the Police Department. Only the Court is empowered by law to adjudicate such matters. A court proceeding provides an impartial forum in which both sides of the case can be heard and the truth determined.
If you feel more comfortable making your complaint in writing, you may send a letter directly to Internal Investigations or the Office of the Chief of Police. Either of these offices will be able to assist you. The mailing address for both is Greeley Police Department, 2875 10th Street , Greeley, Colorado 80631. There is no set format; you may tell your story in the way in which you feel most comfortable. But you must include the important facts. Your written complaint will be handled in the same manner as if you had reported your complaint in person.