If a citizen wishes to commend or file a complaint about the actions of any Clearwater Police Department employee, it may be done in person, by phone, email, letter or through the Clearwater Connect system.
Letters received will be forwarded to the employee in order to extend your gratitude, and a copy will be placed in the employee’s personnel file. The employee’s performance will also be recognized by the Chief of Police in department reports and may be considered for other department awards or community recognition.
It is normally the responsibility of the employee's immediate supervisor to speak with you about your complaint. If the employee's immediate supervisor is not readily available or you cannot arrange to meet with them because of scheduling, you may speak with the employee's district or division commander. If you do not directly speak with a supervisor about your complaint, you will be contacted later by either a supervisor or an investigator from the Office of Professional Standards.
In order to ensure that complaints against our employees are properly and thoroughly investigated, it may be necessary for you to provide a sworn statement to an investigator about the employee's actions; particularly if the nature of your complaint concerns a serious act of misconduct. However, in many cases, the employee's immediate supervisor will be able to effectively handle your complaint without taking a sworn statement. The supervisor will then take the appropriate steps to correct the employee's performance or alleviate your concerns. In many instances, an inquiry done by the employee's supervisor and an explanation about police policy or procedures may assist you in understanding the employee's actions.
The Clearwater Police Department encourages citizens to file complaints regarding employee misconduct, but complaints must be made in good faith. The law does provide for specific sanctions when a complainant or witness makes false statements to investigators concerning an incident.
If your complaint or concern cannot be resolved to your satisfaction by the employee's immediate supervisor, or it involves a serious violation of department regulations, it will be immediately forwarded to the Office of Professional Standards for review and investigative assignment. The investigation of your complaint will be handled by either an investigator with the Office of Professional Standards or a supervisor in the employee's chain of command.
All complaints involving violations of department regulation, regardless of their source, will be accepted and investigated. The extent of the investigation depends upon the nature of the complaint, whether the source of the information can be identified or the accuracy verified, the seriousness of the allegations and the number of persons involved in the incident.
In all cases, the Office of Professional Standards will officially record your complaint and ensure it is properly investigated. You will be contacted by the assigned investigator or a supervisor for additional information and to arrange for a formal interview, if necessary.
After the allegations have been fully investigated, the chief of police will determine what action, if any, should be taken to resolve the complaint. You will be notified of the results of the investigation, regardless of the outcome.