The Bowling Green Police Division has a formalized complaint process, which is outlined in the policy. There are paper brochures and online information, which explain the process (see Complaint Against Officer Brochure). There are many ways in which an individual could file a complaint. For instance, a citizen could file a complaint against an officer by requesting to speak with the officer's supervisor while at the scene of the incident, call or come to the division in person to request to file a complaint, go online to file the complaint or complete a citizen contact survey. Officers are required to hand out citizen contact surveys on a daily basis (see Citizen Contact Survey). An individual could also go online to complete a survey. Since 2015, officers have handed out 20,741 surveys to individuals who were victims, witnesses, and/or offenders. The Division has received 768 returned surveys. Of those, individuals rated the performance of Bowling Green Police Officers as follows: 583 Excellent, 107 Good, 14 Fair, and 11 as Poor. 53 surveys did not list a rating. All returned surveys are reviewed by the chief, deputy chief, and applicable bureau commander. The bureau commanders will then forward the survey to appropriate personnel to address any request or concerns that need attention (extra patrol for speeding, compliments or complaints, etc.).
All types of complaints are investigated, including but not limited to anonymous complaints (see Policy 1-5-8 Types of Investigations). However, the anonymous complainant must provide enough information for the division to be able to investigate the matter (date, time, location, type of incident, officer-involved, etc.). In addition, all supervisors and/or command staff have a responsibility to exercise limited disciplinary action in minor misconduct situations (i.e. documented verbal counseling or written reprimand) (see Policy 1-5-4 Role of Supervisors). In these situations, the supervisory will generate an incident report, investigate the matter, document their findings as well as forward the report through the chain of command to the chief of police (see Policy 1-5-5 Supervisor Authority and Policy January 5, 2010 Notification of Chief of Police). If the misconduct is serious in that it could result in suspension, demotion, or dismissal, the supervisor will generate an incident report, document the information they were provided, and then forward the report to the chief of police. The chief will review the report and then determine whether an internal affairs investigation is warranted or proceed directly to a pre-disciplinary hearing.
If the chief determines an internal affairs investigation is warranted, he will complete a memo outlining the need for an investigation and forward it to the detective sergeant or applicable bureau commander if there is a conflict of interest (i.e. the detective sergeant was a witness to the incident or is the officer being investigated, etc.). Furthermore, in either circumstance, the division will follow the process as outlined in policy (see attached Policies 1-5-7 Internal Affairs Staffing and Functions, January 5, 2011, Time Limits, January 5, 2012 Complaint Status Reports, and January 5, 2016 Allegation Findings) and Federal and State law related to the due process rights of the employee. An officer could also be immediately relieved from duty by their supervisor in certain circumstances as outlined in Policy January 5, 2015 Relief from Duty. The detective sergeant will also complete an annual administrative review based upon the records of the internal affairs office (see Policy January 5, 2018, Statistical Summaries and 2019 Internal Affairs Summary Report).
Complaints may also be filed with the Mayor/Municipal Administrator's office in the same manner as described previously.
- Complaint Against an Officer
- 2019 Internal Affairs Summary Report (PDF)
- Policy 1510 Notification of Chief of Police (PDF)
- Policy 1511 Time Limits (PDF)
- Policy 1512 Complaint Status Reports (PDF)
- Policy 1515 Relief from Duty (PDF)
- Policy 1516 Allegation Findings (PDF)
- Policy 1518 Statistical Summaries (PDF)
- Policy 154 Role of Supervisors (PDF)
- Policy 155 Supervisor Authority (PDF)
- Policy 157 Internal Affairs Staffing Functions (PDF)
- Policy 158 Types of Investigations (PDF)