A Guide to the Citizen Complaint Process

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Protecting Your Rights is Our Business

The Cheyenne Police Department is dedicated to protecting the rights of all citizens, regardless of race, age, sex, nationality, religion or political preference. We consider the protection of individual rights to be of extreme importance and for that reason, we have established safeguards within our department to discourage abuses of authority by police employees. Complaints relating to police employee abuses are taken very seriously and are carefully investigated.

If any citizen feels a police employee has acted in a manner which is abusive or unprofessional, we urge them to report the matter to a police supervisor. The following information outlines the CPD's complaint process. Our creed is to work in cooperation with the community to prevent crime and defend the rights of all.  You assist us in accomplishing this mission when you contact us regarding what you consider to be improper police conduct.

Our policy

It is the policy of the Cheyenne Police Department to investigate all complaints against the department or its employees. This ensures the integrity of the department while protecting the rights and interest of both citizens and department members.

Who may complain?

Any person, regardless of age, sex or nationality, who witnesses, or has direct knowledge of police misconduct, may file a complaint with the Police Department.

When should you complain?

You should contact the department whenever you witness behavior by any department member which is a violation of city, state, or federal law, involves the excessive use of force, or involves discourteous or abusive treatment.

How do you file a complaint?

Generally, complaints are filed through the supervisor of the member involved. If the immediate supervisor is unavailable, another supervisor may take the complaint.

Who investigates the complaint?

Department supervisors are charged with maintaining discipline and with overseeing the conduct of members assigned to them. In most cases, the supervisor of the member conducts an investigation and reports the incident through the chain of command for disposition. Serious administrative investigations may be conducted by the department’s Internal Affairs Unit. Investigations involving alleged criminal activity are investigated by the Detective Division or referred to another agency.

What is the complaint procedure?

After the supervisor has interviewed all parties involved the disposition will fall into one of the following categories:

  • Sustained - there is substantial evidence to prove the allegation.
  • Not Sustained - there is insufficient evidence to prove or disprove the allegation.
  • Unfounded/Exonerated - the allegation is false or the incident occurred but was lawful and proper.
  • Policy Failure - allegation is true but the member followed policy. Policy is examined and if necessary, modified.
What is the disciplinary process?

If a complaint is sustained, disciplinary action may be taken which consists of one of the following measures:

  • Verbal Reprimand
  • Written Reprimand
  • Suspension
  • Demotion
  • Dismissal

In addition to any disciplinary action, the employee may receive counseling and, where appropriate, training to correct deficiencies.

When an employee faces suspension, demotion or dismissal, there is a review and appeal process to the Civil Service Board.

What will you be told?

After the thorough investigation of the complaint the employee’s supervisor, or another supervisor, will promptly contact you. You will be advised of the supervisor’s findings. The department is not permitted to comment on employee/disciplinary actions under state law.

Responsibility - ours and yours

The Police Department views all citizen complaints against its employees very seriously and actively pursues investigations into misconduct. For this reason, you must ensure that your complaint is based on fact and you have provided us with all these facts to the best of your ability. If you intentionally make a false report to this department you should know that making the false report could result in criminal and/or civil legal proceedings being filed against you.

Our commitment to you

Members of the Cheyenne Police Department shall at all times strive to be courteous and professional in all dealings with the citizens we serve. It is the hope of the department that all of your contacts with our employees are positive. If not, we will endeavor to resolve your complaint to your satisfaction in a prompt and objective way.

We would appreciate hearing from you when we have provided you with commendable service, too!

For more information on the citizen complaint process, please contact us at 307-637-6521 or info@cheyennepd.org