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Employee Conduct: Investigations & Discipline--A Guidebook for the Public and Our Employees On What We Do and Why We Do It 2005

NCJ Number
Date Published
January 2005
33 pages
This guidebook from the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department provides information to the public and to its employees on the procedures used to investigate wrongdoing by a police officer.
Following a description of the police-related complaints and other feedback from the public, the guidebook presents information about the complaint review procedure in a chronological fashion, progressing from the filing of a complaint to the imposition of discipline and employee appeal provisions. The guidebook explains what happens at each stage of the process as well as why certain procedures are used. The major objectives of the complaint investigation process are reviewed, which include improving citizen confidence, correcting employee behavior, and providing useful information about how officers should behave in encounters with citizens. The process for investigating officer conduct in the absence of a formal complaint is described and is used in any instance in which an officer uses physical force, a person in police custody is injured, and when a police employee is injured. The process by which a complaint is initially classified is discussed, followed by a description of how complaints are routed for investigation and review. The investigative steps employed by the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department are identified and include interviewing the complaining party and any witnesses, obtaining evidence, interviewing the accused employee, and preparing a written statement of the evidence. The length of the investigation which typically take no longer than 45 days, are reviewed along with the numerous stressors on both the accused officers and the complainants. The chain of command for complaint reviews is identified and involves a chain of command board hearing in which a peer board member is selected from a pool of eligible employees and the accused and the complainant are interviewed. The guidebook closes with discussions of how the department balances an employees right to privacy versus the public’s right to information about the disposition of the compliant and of how appeals are made to chain of command board rulings. Appendix