In most instances, we believe Sturbridge Police Officers work in partnership with citizens and that our contacts with citizens are positive. To insure we function efficiently while maintaining the rights of the citizens we protect, Sturbrigde Police Officers are trained to follow a series of policies and procedures, and work within the guidelines of local, state, and federal laws. Because of the nature of law enforcement, we also understand that citizens on occasion may object to the actions of the police, or may feel their conduct is inappropriate. Therefore, we have established procedures for citizens to report their concerns to the Professional Standards Division.
Citizen Complaint Procedure
Who May Register a Complaint?
A complaint may be made by any citizen and can be made by telephone, in person, by mail or by utilizing the on-line complaint form. Anonymous complaints will be handled at the discretion of the Chief of Police.
Upon receipt of a complaint, a determination will be made by the Chief of Police or the commander of the Professional Standards Division as to whether it is a criminal or administrative investigation. Assignment of the complaint is at the discretion of the Professional Standards commander.
Once filed, a complaint is thoroughly investigated. A report is prepared which includes taped and/or signed statements from the complainant, the accused and all witnesses.
The completed investigative report also includes a narrative summary of the events and a finding of facts as determined by the taped and/or signed statements of those involved. Prior to leaving the Internal Affairs Unit for disciplinary recommendation, the report is reviewed by the Professional Standards commander for completeness and objectivity.
The report must not reflect any personal opinion, but rather present an unbiased picture of the circumstances as they actually occurred. This permits the examiner to make a proper recommendation, based on the facts and investigative findings presented.
The finalized report will be reviewed by the employee's chain of command. The chain of command will recommend case disposition, and disciplinary action if necessary to the Chief of Police.
The employee's chain of command may consist of his/her immediate supervisor, division commanders and the Chief of Police.
The dispositions of the complaints are classified as follows:
Unfounded - Incident did not occur or officers not involved
Exonerated - Incident occurred but officer acted lawfully and properly
Not Sustained - Insufficient evidence to prove or disprove the allegation
Sustained - Allegation is supported by sufficient evidence
There are six levels of discipline for department members. They are documented verbal counseling, written counseling, written reprimand, suspension, demotion and termination.
If you wish to file an electronic version of the citizens complaint form click on the click below "On-line Citizens Complaint" form.
If you wish to fill out a paper complaint form you can download the form by clicking "Citizens Complaint" form or by visiting the Sturbridge Police Department to retain a paper copy. If you would like to know more please contact the police department at (508) 347-2525 and ask to speak with the on-duty supervisor.