Filing a complaint or commendation
The Wheat Ridge Police Department must maintain the highest level of integrity in order to ensure public confidence, trust and support and therefore will thoroughly, accurately and consistently investigate all inquiries and complaints regarding professional standards matters. We also welcome commendations for those officers or staff who go above and beyond the call of duty by providing exceptional service.
Please complete the following Community Input form including a street address where the interaction took place, the date and time of the interaction, and contact information so we may follow up with any resolution if you are filing a complaint. You may remain anonymous; however, we encourage you to include your name and phone/email if you’d like to work with us to resolve your concern.
To file a complaint or commendation:
We also commit to providing timely conclusions regarding any allegations. Once completed, all investigations are reviewed by the named department member’s chain of command, up to and including the Division Chief or the Chief of Police. This process may take several weeks to complete, but no complaint is ignored. Complainants and named department members are notified in writing that a complaint has been received, and all parties are notified again in writing once the investigation is complete and a disposition has been reached.
Any supervisor may accept a complaint against the department or any of its members, at anytime of day or night. Complaints are categorized in the following manner:
- Inquiry: Questions or concerns regarding a clarification of a policy, procedure or practice of the department. If the complainant agrees, inquiries may be satisfactorily resolved by the supervisor accepting the complaint. If not, the inquiry may follow the same procedure as allegations of misconduct, as detailed below.
- Misconduct: Any action or inaction by a Department member that is immoral, illegal, unethical, or unprofessional and which, if sustained, would constitute a violation of the Policy Directives Manual section 3.42, Code of Conduct. A charge of misconduct assumes an element of fault or culpability on the part of the member. Misconduct is classified as either a major or a minor violation.
- Minor -Includes allegations, which are determined to be appropriate for review. Examples include, but are not limited to, discourtesy, lesser violations of rules, procedures, guidelines, regulations or orders.
- Major -Includes allegations which charge criminal misconduct or serious violations of Departmental rules, procedures, guidelines, regulations or orders.
Once a complaint is received by a supervisor of the department, the report is forwarded to the Professional Standards Unit (PSU). The PSU will notify the complainant in writing that their complaint has been received and is under investigation. Inmost cases, i.e. minor investigations, the complaint is forwarded to the Division Chief overseeing the named department member(s). The complaint is assigned to the named department member’s direct supervisor who will conduct the investigation. In the rare case of a major investigation, the complaint is forwarded directly to the Chief of Police and assigned to the PSU Supervisor to investigate.
The supervisor conducting the investigation will complete a detailed report, including are commendation for disposition, and forward the report to the next level in the chain of command. Each subsequent member of the chain of command will review the investigation and make a recommendation for disposition. Depending on the severity of the allegation, the completed report is forwarded to the Division Chief or Chief of Police. The Division Chief or Chief of Police will review the entire investigation, including the recommendations, and a conclusion of fact regarding the allegation. The conclusion of fact will include corrective actions, if any, which may include changes in training, policy, procedures, rules or practices. The completed report will then be returned to the PSU for closure. The PSU Supervisor will notify the complainant in writing that the investigation has been concluded, and the disposition that has been reached.
While encouraging the filing of legitimate complaints against members of the Department as a means by which they can be held accountable to the public; the police department simultaneously seeks to hold the complainant responsible in the event of a false and malicious allegation against members of the Department.