The Complaint Process

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Who may file a complaint?

Any person who witnesses or has direct knowledge of suspected misconduct may contact the Internal Affairs Unit to initiate a complaint. It doesn't matter whether the person making the complaint was directly involved in the incident. Anonymous complaints will be taken. If you decide to remain anonymous, please ensure to provide information about the misconduct that can be proven by other evidence. 

How is a complaint filed?

Generally, complaints are filed through the supervisor of the involved employee. If the employee's supervisor is not known, the complaint may be filed with the Internal Affairs Unit. A complaint may be filed in person, by telephone, fax, online form, or letter. A complaint may also be filed by printing and completing a copy of the Citizen Complaint Form [PDF] and mailing it in.

 

Telephone: 480-644-2010
Fax: 480-644-5447
Address: Mesa Police Department
Internal Affairs
P.O. Box 1466
Mesa, AZ 85211

 

If you choose not to use the Citizen Complaint Form, please ensure written correspondence includes the following information:

  • Date, time, and location of the incident
  • Your name, address (including zip code), and daytime phone number
  • E-mail Address
  • Mesa Police Department case number
  • Name of Department employee(s) involved
  • A brief description of the complaint 

When making a complaint, simply relate the facts as you know them and be mindful that you will be asked specific questions regarding the incident.

Who investigates the complaint?

Complaints filed with the Internal Affairs Unit are reviewed by the unit commander. The complaint may be referred to the employee's supervisor for investigation or it can be assigned to an Internal Affairs investigator. You will receive notification when your complaint has been received.  Depending on the severity of the allegation(s), investigators must complete their investigation within 90-180 calendar days of receiving the complaint.

The investigation of the complaint will focus on the conduct of the employee, not criminal or civil charges against you. Any criminal or civil charges against the complainant are a separate issue which must be decided by the appropriate court.

After the investigation is completed...

You will be notified, by phone or mail, the outcome of the investigation. Following is a list of findings:

 

Unfounded The investigation revealed no facts to support that the incident complained of actually occurred.
Exonerated The evidence shows that the alleged conduct did occur, but did not violate MPD policies, procedures or training.
Sustained The evidence shows that the alleged conduct did occur and the actions of the officer violated MPD policies, procedures or training.
Not Sustained (Insufficient evidence) Where there are insufficient facts to decide whether the alleged misconduct occurred.
Policy Failure The evidence shows that the alleged conduct did occur, but the actions of the officer were consistent with the MPD policies, procedures or training.

Only the Chief of Police shall have the authority to exercise discretion to deviate from this policy in the best interest of the Department.

What is the disciplinary process?

If a complaint is sustained, corrective training may occur. Disciplinary action may be taken; this can range from no penalty to dismissal. The matter will be handled administratively. City, state, and federal personnel laws govern an employee's privacy rights. Certain information contained in disciplinary records may not be public record. 

Can a person get in trouble for filing a complaint?

Not if you are truthful. The Mesa Police Department will not take action against a person who has acted in good faith. However, be aware that per Arizona State Law, A.R.S.13-2907.01, it is a misdemeanor to knowingly make a false statement to a law enforcement agency.