The Beacon Police Department can receive personnel complaints through a number of sources. Formal complaints can be filed using the Department’s Civilian Complaint Form which can be returned directly to the Department or turned in to the City of Beacon Human Relations Commission. Additionally, complaints may be made directly in person, or by telephone to police headquarters. Sometimes they are forwarded through third parties such as City Councilmembers or the City Administration. Anytime the Department’s command staff is made aware of anything that may be construed as a personnel complaint, from any source, it is treated as a personnel complaint.
Often times people come to police headquarters or call the Department after an interaction with an Officer to seek an explanation of the interaction or of the Officer’s actions. These types of complaints are usually resolved with such an explanation but if the person is still unsatisfied or does not accept the explanation, they would also be handled as personnel complaints.
Once a personnel complaint is received it will be investigated by a member of the command staff in the same manner that any other police investigation would be conducted and a case report will be completed. All available means of collecting evidence such as interviews with the complainant and officer involved, body cameras, in-car cameras, station and other surveillance cameras, etc. will be utilized when possible. If the investigation indicates that the Officer did nothing wrong, the Officer will be exonerated. If there is insufficient evidence to substantiate the complaint, it will be considered unsubstantiated. If there is evidence substantiating the complaint and the Officer is determined to have violated policy or procedure, the case will be turned over to the Chief of Police to make a determination as to what, if any, discipline is appropriate. This can range from verbal counseling to dismissal. In any case, the complainant will be contacted and told of the results of the investigation.