Compliments and Complaints
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Following is the Policy of the Geary County Sheriff’s Office regarding complaints filed against employees:
1010.1 PURPOSE AND SCOPE
This policy provides guidelines for the reporting, investigation and disposition of complaints regarding the conduct of members of the Geary County Sheriff’s Office. This policy shall not apply to any questioning, counseling, instruction, informal verbal admonishment or other routine or unplanned contact of a member in the normal course of duty, by a supervisor or any other member, nor shall this policy apply to a criminal investigation.
The Geary County Sheriff’s Office takes seriously all complaints regarding the service provided by the Office and the conduct of its members.
The office will accept and address all complaints of misconduct in accordance with this policy and applicable federal, state and local law and municipal and county rules and the requirements of concern for reprisal or retaliation.
1010.3 PERSONNEL COMPLAINTS
Personnel complaints include an allegation of misconduct or improper job performance that, if true, would constitute a violation of office policy or federal, state or local law, policy or rule. Personnel complaints may be generated internally or by the public.
Inquiries about conduct or performance that, if true, would not violate office policy or federal, state or local law, policy or rule may be handled informally by a supervisor and shall not be considered a personnel complaint. Such inquiries generally include clarification regarding policy, procedures or the response to specific incidents by the Office.
1010.3.1 COMPLAINT CLASSIFICATIONS
Personnel complaints shall be classified in one of the following categories:
Informal – A matter in which the Watch Commander is satisfied that appropriate action has been taken by a supervisor or rank greater than the accused member.
Formal – A matter in which a supervisor determines that further action is warranted. Suck complaints may be investigated by a supervisor or rank greater than the accused member or referred to the Investigations Division, depending on the seriousness and complexity of the investigation.
Incomplete – A matter in which the complaining party either refuses to cooperate or becomes unavailable after diligent follow-up investigation. At the discretion of the assigned supervisor or the Investigations Division, such matters may be further investigated depending on the seriousness of the complaint and the availability of sufficient information.
1010.3.2 SOURCES OF COMPLAINTS
The following applies to the source of complaints:
- Individuals from the public may make complaints in any form, including in writing, by email, in person or by telephone.
- Any office member becoming aware of alleged misconduct shall immediately notify a supervisor.
- Supervisor shall initiate a complaint based upon observed misconduct or receipt from any source alleging misconduct that, if true, could result in disciplinary action.
- Anonymous and third-party complaints should be accepted and investigated to the extent that sufficient information is provided.
- Tort clams and lawsuits may generate a personnel complaint.
1010.4 AVAILABILITY AND ACCEPTANCE OF COMPLAINTS
1010.4.1 COMPLAINT FORMS
Personnel complaint forms will be maintained in a clearly visible location in the public area of the Sheriff’s facility and be accessible through the office website.
Personnel complaint forms in languages other than English may also be provided, as determined necessary or practicable.
All complaints will be courteously accepted by any office member and promptly given to the appropriate supervisor. Although written complaints are preferred, a complaint may also be filed orally, in person. Such complaints will be directed to a supervisor. If a supervisor is not immediately available to take an oral complaint, the receiving member shall obtain contact information sufficient for the supervisor to contact the complainant. The supervisor, upon contact with the complainant, shall complete and submit a complaint form as appropriate.
Although no required, complainants should be encouraged to file complaints in person that hat proper identification, signatures, photographs or physical evidence may be obtained as necessary.
Supervisors shall ensure that all formal and informal complaints are documented on a complaint for. The supervisor shall ensure that the nature of the complaint is defined as clearly as possible.
All complaints and inquiries should also be documented in a log that records and tracks complaints. The log shall include the nature of the complaint and the actions taken to address the complaint. ON an annual basis, the Office should audit the log and send an audit report to the Sheriff or the authorized designee.
Each personnel complaint shall be classified with one of the following dispositions:
Unfounded – When the investigation discloses that the alleged acts did not occur or did not involve office member. Complaints that are determine to be frivolous will fall within the classification of unfounded.
Exonerated – When the investigation discloses that the alleged act occurred but that the act was justified, lawful and/or proper.
Not sustained – When the investigation discloses that here is insufficient evidence to sustain the complaint of fully exonerate the member.
Sustained – When the investigation discloses sufficient evidence to establish that the act occurred and that it constituted misconduct.
If an investigation discloses misconduct or improper job performance that was not alleged in the original complaint, the investigator shall take appropriate action with regard to any additional allegations.
1010.6.5 COMPLETION OF INVESTIGATIONS
Every investigator or supervisor assigned to investigate a personnel complaint 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.
1010.6.6 NOTICE TO COMPLAINANT OF INVESTIGATION STATUS
The member conduction the investigation should provide the complainant with periodic updates on the status of the investigation, as appropriate.
1010.10.3 NOTICE OF FINAL DISPOSITION TO THE COMPLAINANT
The Sheriff of the authorized designee should ensure that the complainant is notified of the disposition (i.e., sustained, exonerated, unfounded) of the complaint.
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