How do I make a citizen's complaint?
The following information is provided to you by the Smithville Police Department to inform you of the citizen complaint process.
Citizens, who wish to express dissatisfaction with members or policies of this Department, should adhere to the following guidelines to ensure that a complete and proper investigation is conducted.
As a citizen, if you believe you have been mistreated or have not received adequate service, you have a moral and legal right to express dissatisfaction with your police department. This will not only make you a responsible citizen, but your input will help to improve the department.
No member of the Smithville Police Department will attempt to interfere or influence your right to complain about the service this department provides to you. Your complaint will be thoroughly and impartially investigated.
If you believe a member of this Department has acted improperly or has violated a Department Rule or Procedure, a federal or state law, or an ordinance of the city of Smithville, you may file a written complaint. However, false complaints will be reviewed by the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office.
INSTRUCTIONS FOR FILING YOUR COMPLAINT
What is a complaint – A complaint is a belief that a member of the Smithville Police Department has violated a Department Rule or Procedure, a federal or state law, an ordinance of the city of Smithville, or dissatisfaction with a policy or procedure of the Smithville Police Department.
Who can file a complaint – In most cases, a complaint can be filed by any citizen or agent representing an aggrieved or injured party. However, the agent shall be limited to the following.
- An attorney
- Parent or Guardian of a child
- A translator representing a non-English speaking complainant
Agents can obtain a Citizen Complaint Form for the aggrieved or injured party and assist with its completion. A citizen complaint can be filed at the Smithville Police Station, or mailed to the Chief of Police. All complaint reports are confidential.
Filing your complaint - You may file your complaint by one of the following:
- Obtain a Citizen’s Complaint Form from the Smithville Police Department. Any member of the police department can provide one, and copies are available in the lobby.
- Call the Smithville Police Department (816-532-0500) and ask for a supervisor. A Citizen’s Complaint Form can be mailed, faxed or emailed to you.
- Download a copy of the Citizen’s Complaint Form below and return it to the Smithville Police Department.
All complaint forms should be returned to:
Smithville Police Department
Attn: Chief of Police
107 W. Main St.
Smithville, MO 64089
When you file your complaint, please provide the following information to the supervisory officer (or investigator) writing your complaint or on the complaint form you are filing yourself:
- Your personal information (full name, date of birth, address, phone number)
- The date and time of the incident
- The nature of the incident
- All parties involved, witnesses, records, photographs and other evidence
What must be filed – In most cases, when a complaint is filed, a narrative of the complaint will be written on the Citizen Complaint Form. The citizen or agent will sign the Citizen Complaint Form and a copy will be provided. In some cases you may be asked to conduct a video taped interview, to assist the investigator assigned to the case.
WHAT HAPPENS WITH YOUR COMPLAINT
The investigation – The Department will conduct a thorough investigation to include interviews of all available witnesses.
Who will investigate – Supervisors and/or detectives, under the direction of the Chief of Police, will conduct all complaint investigations. Their duty is to gather all the facts and present these facts for review.
Length of investigation – Most investigations will be completed within a timely manner. Complex investigations may take several months to complete.
THE FINAL DISPOSITION OF COMPLAINT
The completed investigation – Once the initial complaint has been thoroughly investigated and all of the facts have been gathered, the completed investigation will be reviewed. This review will determine if there was compliance with Department Rules and Procedures, federal or state laws, ordinances of the city of Smithville, or the policies and procedures of the Smithville Police Department.
Decision of the Chief of Police – If the Chief of Police determines there is a violation of Department Rules and Procedures, federal or state laws, ordinances of the city of Smithville, or policies and procedures of the Smithville Police Department, criminal charges will be sought; disciplinary action and or a change of policy may result.
Notification – When the final disposition has been made, a notification letter will be sent informing the complaining party of the outcome of the investigation.
The Smithville Police Department cannot make monetary awards or provide legal assistance. Information obtained during these investigations is considered confidential and will not be divulged except in accordance with State Statute governing the release or inspection of personnel records.
For further information on the Citizen Complaint Process, please contact:
Smithville Police Department