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Office of Professional Standards
Citizen Complaint Procedure
The Fayetteville Police Department believes the public has a right to expect efficient, fair and impartial law enforcement from officers. Citizens who want to recognize good service may do so by requesting a compliment form. Occasionally, citizens may have an interaction with an officer that lowers the esteem of the entire department in their eyes. For such occurrences we have a mechanism in place for citizens to file complaints.
A complaint may be lodged any time day or night by either telephoning the police department and asking to speak to the supervisor and voicing the complaint or by requesting a complaint form.
Complaints are handled in one of two ways. Complaints of a less severe nature may be handled by the officer's supervisor through a counseling session. More serious complaints are reviewed by the Chief of Police and investigated by the Department's Office of Professional Standards.
The Office of Professional Standards is comprised of officers selected due to their previous performance and high degree of investigative skills. Each complaint is thoroughly investigated and should be completed within 21 days of assignment. At the conclusion of an investigation one of the following dispositions must be given:
- Unfounded - The act complained of did not occur
- Exonerated - The act occurred, but was justified, lawful and proper
- Not Sustained - Insufficient evidence available to prove or disprove the allegation
- Sustained - The act did occur and constitutes misconduct
Complainants will be notified in writing of the disposition of the complaint within 14 days of the resolution of a complaint.