Oneonta Police Department Complaint Procedure

     The police officers today in every community are symbols, not only of the law, but the entire establishment. Because of this, police are the target for complaints against any shortcomings of our governmental system. The police officer can solve the problems of a community only when he is working in harmony with that community. The police officers must recognize their responsibility to serve all the public to the best of their ability. FAIR IMPARTIAL ENFORCEMENT OF THE LAW WHICH RESPECTS THE INDIVIDUAL DIGNITY OF ALL PEOPLE IS ESSENTIAL. This enforcement must be accomplished with tact and diplomacy whenever possible. Force should be used only when necessary, and then only that amount of force which is necessary. 

     As police officers, we must professionally investigate all citizen complaints in a thorough and objective manner. This will be done as expeditiously as possible in order to clear the officer's name or to substantiate the citizen's complaint whichever is appropriate. 

 

Charles Clifton
Chief of Police 

FAQ'S

  • DOES THAT MEAN THE POLICE DEPARTMENTS WANTS COMPLAINTS?

    • Of course not. A complaint means that someone has not acted properly. We do want to know when our service needs to improve or be corrected.

  • BUT WILL YOU LISTEN TO MY COMPLAINT?

    • Yes, we will. We want to find out what went wrong so that it will not happen again.​

  • WHO WILL INVESTIGATE MY COMPLAINT?

    • The Chief of Police will. The chief will then turn the complaint over to the Internal Investigation Board.​

  • DO I HAVE TO COMPLAIN IN PERSON?

    • No. We prefer to talk to you in person, but will accept the initial report over the phone. At some point in time, you will be asked to place your complaint in written form. It is a possibility that you will be asked to take a polygraph examination, or be called on to testify before the Internal Investigation Board.​

  • I AM A JUVENILE, DO I HAVE THE RIGHT TO COMPLAIN?

    • Yes. We ask that you bring a parent or guardian with you.​

  • WILL I HAVE TO WRITE OUT MY COMPLAINT?

    • We have found that it is much easier to investigate written complaint.​ If there is a valid reason that this can't be done, we will make other arrangements.

  • HOW CLOSE WILL YOU REALLY INVESTIGATE?

    • Very Closely! We want to find out what went wrong. By the same token, if a person makes a False Complaint, we want to take the appropriate action.​

  • DOES THAT MEAN I CAN GET IN TROUBLE FOR COMPLAINING?

    • Not if your telling the truth. We are only interested in prosecuting those who make malicious, false allegations about people.​

  • WHAT WILL HAPPEN TO THE OFFICER?

    • Well, that will depend on what he did. If his or her actions are criminal​, he/she will be dealt by the appropriate department discipline.

  • WILL I BE TOLD THE RESULTS OF THE COMPLAINT?

    • Yes. You will receive a letter from the Chief of Police on how the complaint was handled and completed.​

  • WHAT IF I'M NOT SATISFIED WITH THE RESULTS OF THE COMPLAINT?

    • We would hope that this will never happen, but if it does, there are several ways to handle your complaint.​

      1. You may contact you City Council Representative.​

      2. You may contact the Blount County District Attorney.

      3. You may contact the Federal Bureau of Investigations.

Our goal at the Oneonta Police Department is that you will never need this information. We don't want to fail in our continuing efforts to provide you with the best Police service.

                                           Access complaint forms here.