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Personnel Complaint or Commendation Process


The Police Department's image and reputation depend on the personal integrity and discipline of all department employees. To a large degree, the public image of the department is determined by a professional response to allegations of misconduct against its employees. The department must competently and impartially investigate all allegations of misconduct by employees and complaints bearing on the department's response to community needs. The department recognizes that its personnel are often subject to intense pressure in the discharge of their duties. The employee must remain neutral under circumstances that are likely to generate tension, excitement, and emotion. In these situations, actions and events frequently result in misunderstanding and confusion. It is to the advantage of all employees, and the community, to have a procedure for the investigation of the more serious allegations and underlying circumstances so that complaints can be resolved in light of the complicated pressures of law enforcement work. No complaint will be eliminated or refused due to arbitrary criteria. A complaint is an indication of a potential problem or misunderstanding. The openness of the department to the acceptance of a complaint is a principal element of police professionalism and community responsiveness. If the complaint or notice meets the elements defined, the complaint or notice of an allegation of misconduct will be accepted.

Just as we want to be made aware of allegations of misconduct we also feel it is important for the community to share their positive encounters with members of the department. This small "thank you" goes a long way to give a member purpose and a sense that someone does see and appreciate the job they are doing.

While anonymous complaints will be accepted, we encourage citizens to leave their name in order for our department to complete a more thorough investigation of the complaint.
 


Personnel Complaint/Commendation Process:

  1. Complaints/Commendations will be accepted both in-person, online and by phone.
    1. For in-person complaints/commendations, come to the Garfield Heights Police Station (5555 Turney Rd.) and ask to speak with the Officer in Charge.
       
    2. To register a complaint/commendation online, please click here.
       
    3. By phone: contact the Officer in Charge at (216) 475-6579 or Patrol Bureau Captain at (216) 475-3056 or Chief of Police at (216) 475-5563.
       
  2. Complainants/Commendations will be asked to complete a "Citizen Allegation / Inquiry / Commendation Form" detailing the complaint.
     
  3. The Officer in Charge will forward the complaint/commendation to the immediate supervisor of the employee named in the complaint.
     
  4. That supervisor will make contact with the complainant within 24 hours or receiving the complaint/commendation.
     
  5. The complaint/commendation will then be assigned to an investigator within the police department. The complainant shall be notified of the investigator's name and the complaint/commendation number within three days after assignment.
     
  6. Every investigator or supervisor assigned to investigate a personnel complaint/commendation or other alleged misconduct shall proceed with due diligence in an effort to complete the investigation within one year from the date of discovery by an individual authorized to initiate an investigation.
     
  7. The complainant will be notified of the findings and outcome of the investigation upon its completion.
     
  8. Anonymous complaints/commendations are accepted by the Police Department, however this prevents the investigator from any follow up from the complaintant.