Filing a Complaint
A disagreement over the validity of a traffic infraction or criminal citation is not a complaint. Such disagreements should be directed to the proper court having jurisdiction in the matter.
The following is designed to help you better understand the process of the complaint investigation and what to expect upon its completion. Please read if you have experienced a problem with employee misconduct or disagree with one of the agency’s policies or procedures.
This process describes what happens when you file a complaint against an employee of the Idaho State Police should you believe that an employee has acted improperly. The Idaho State Police is committed to conducting a thorough and impartial investigation of all complaints received against any employee.
- Your Complaint’s Importance
- Complaint Defined
- The Investigation
- The Review
- Filing a Complaint
The Importance of Your Complaint
The complaint process is designed to deal with each case factually and fairly. Persons filing complaints are treated respectfully and accusations against employees are taken seriously. All complaints are investigated thoroughly and all findings are based on the evidence gained during the investigation.
However, if it is determined that a complainant has knowingly made a false accusation against an employee, the Idaho State Police may consider seeking criminal prosecution, and the employee has the right to pursue civil litigation against their accuser.
A complaint is defined as:
- A letter or other written communication made by a citizen alleging misconduct by act or omission of an Idaho State Police employee; OR
- An expression of dissatisfaction with a policy, procedure, practice, philosophy, service level, or legal standard of the agency.
Once a complaint is received, it will be forwarded to the most appropriate supervisor for review. Many complaints can be resolved at this level through a thorough explanation by the supervisor to you of the laws, rules and procedures applicable to the situation. If your complaint cannot be resolved in this manner, the supervisor begins the process for an administrative investigation by referring your complaint to the ISP’s Office of Professional Standards.
The Office of Professional Standards will assign a case number and designate an investigator. The investigator will arrange for an interview with you to discuss, in detail, your allegation against the employee. The interview will take place at the Idaho State Police facility or a location of your own choosing.
During the interview, the following may occur:
- You may be recorded or videotaped.
- You will be asked for names of witnesses and other ISP employees that may know facts about your complaint.
- Photographs may be taken of any injuries you think are related to your complaint.
Sometimes during the initial interview, the investigator may be able to explain the employee’s actions to your satisfaction. However, if this does not occur, the investigation will continue.
All employees whom you have accused or persons named as witnesses will be interviewed. If a recording of the incident exists it will be reviewed, as well.
At any time during the investigation, you may withdraw your complaint by notifying the investigator.
A Review of the Investigation
The manager of the accused employee(s) will classify each allegation into one of the following categories:
1. Sustained – The investigation disclosed a preponderance of evidence to support the allegation(s) made in the complaint.
2. Not Sustained – The investigation failed to discover sufficient evidence to clearly prove or disprove the allegation(s) made in the complaint.
3. Unfounded – The investigation revealed that the alleged act(s) or omission(s) did not occur, or the individual named in the complaint was not involved.
4. Exonerated – The investigation revealed that the alleged act(s) or omission(s) did occur, but were justified, lawful and proper as either:
Proper Conduct – The action was consistent with Department policy and the complainant(s) was not wronged.
Policy failure – The action was consistent with Department policy, but the complainant(s) was wronged.
If your complaint is found to be sustained, the employee may face administrative discipline. If this occurs, the accused employee may be given a hearing where you may be asked to testify. If, at the conclusion of the hearing, the employee is found to have committed the violation, he/she may face discipline ranging from a reprimand to termination of employment (depending on the seriousness of the violation).
Filing a Complaint
Should you wish to file a complaint, you can start by e-mailing your information to the Idaho State Police Commander in charge of your district. Please use the e-mail contacts below:
District 1 - Coeur d'Alene
District 2 - Lewiston
District 3 - Boise
District 4 - Jerome
District 5 - Pocatello
District 6 - Idaho Falls
ISP Headquarters - Office of Professional Standards
|ISP Office of Professional Standards|
|700 S. Stratford Drive|
|Meridian, ID 83642|
You will be contacted to confirm your complaint prior to an investigation.