Internal Affairs

Internal Affairs (Citizen Complaints)

The Fairfield Police Department is dedicated to providing the best police service possible to all Fairfield citizens.  However, you may have an occasion to lodge a complaint about the actions of a member of the Fairfield Police Department.  An inquiry or complaint can be made on an official Citizen Complaint Form that can be obtained at the front desk of the police department or downloaded off this website.  Complaints may be made in writing (including letters or email), by telephone, or in person.  It is the policy of the Fairfield Police Department to investigate all complaints.

Please be prepared to provide the time, date, and location of the event, the names of the department personnel involved (if known), and the name(s), address(s), and telephone number(s) of any possible witnesses.

 

Investigation Procedure

Once your complaint has been received, it will be thoroughly investigated by the investigator designated by the Chief of Police.  The investigation will usually include a review of all applicable reports, policies and procedures, examination of any evidence, and interviews with all parties and witnesses involved.  A simple inquiry may take only a few days to complete, while a complex complaint may take two to three months to investigate and review.

The Chief of Police ultimately reviews every complaint.  If the Chief of Police determines that an employee violated any departmental policy or procedure, appropriate corrective action will be taken. 

 

FINDINGS

You will receive written notification at the conclusion of the internal affairs investigation.  There are four possible outcomes of any administrative investigation:

  • Sustained:  The allegation made in the complaint was proven true.
  • Not-Sustained:  Evidence in the investigation could not prove or disprove the allegation.
  • Unfounded:  The investigation concluded that the alleged act never occurred.
  • Exonerated:  The investigation concluded that act did occur, but was justified, lawful, and proper under police policies and procedures.

 

WHAT HAPPENS WHEN A COMPLAINT IS FOUND TO BE TRUE:

If the investigation of a complaint reveals it to be true and is sustained against an employee, the Department will notify the employee and the complainant of the finding.  Depending upon the nature of the violation, one or more of the following actions may be taken:

  • Counsel the employee.
  • Retrain the employee.
  • Reprimand the employee.
  • Suspend the employee.
  • Demote the employee.
  • Discharge the employee.

 

WHAT HAPPENS IF THE COMPLAINT IS FOUND NOT TO BE TRUE:

By law, employees must be afforded certain rights.  Complaints can be sustained only when supported by evidence.  If there is  insufficient evidence to substantiate the complaint, no action will be taken against the employee.


If unsatisfied with the results of an internal investigation, the complainant may contact the Office of the Chief of Police.