Under the section entitled “Accepting Reports Alleging Officer Misconduct,” the first two sentences of paragraph 3, requirement 2 are amended to read as follow: The internal affairs investigator, supervisor, or other officer receiving the complaint will explain the department’s disciplinary procedures to the person making the complaint. The officer shall advise the complainant that he or she will be kept informed of the status of the complaint, if requested, and its ultimate disposition.
This language begs the question: who would take the time to file a complaint and not want to be advised of its outcome. The likely reason for the “if requested” language is because a percentage of complainants will forget to request notification or be too intimidated to request it.
The “if requested” language would otherwise give police undue wiggle room to undermine the spirit of this most recent amendment. Most citizens will be unaware of this requirement. Consistent with a desire to protect fellow officers, most police will not go out of their way to advise complainants of their right to be informed of the ultimate disposition of the complaint.
Requirement 5 is amended to read: A letter shall be sent to the complainant explaining the outcome of the investigation. If the allegation was unfounded or the officer was exonerated, this conclusion shall be stated and defined for the civilian complainant. If the allegation was not sustained, the letter shall provide the complainant with a brief explanation why the complaint was not sustained (e.g., insufficient proof, lack of witnesses, etc.) If the allegation was sustained and discipline was imposed, the letter shall simply state that the allegation was sustained and that the officer has been disciplined according to department procedures. It is not necessary to specify the discipline imposed.
Under the section entitled “Investigation and Adjudication of Serious Complaints,” paragraph 17 of requirement 6 is amended to read: In all cases, a letter shall be sent to the complainant explaining the outcome of the investigation. If the allegation was unfounded or the officer was exonerated, this conclusion shall be stated and defined for the civilian complainant.