Complaints of Misconduct
Springfield Police Department
Inspections and Internal Affairs Unit
321 E. Chestnut Expressway
Springfield, MO 65802
Please read this information before filing a complaint against a Springfield Police Department employee.
Complaint Is IMPORTANT
The men and women of the Springfield Police Department choose to serve, in part, because the department has a reputation for being a professional and honest law enforcement agency. Our internal investigating processes have been inspected and evaluated by the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, Inc. and we have passed their high standards. Serving in a corruption-free agency is everyone's desire.
The City of Springfield has appeal procedures in place if you are not satisfied with the outcome of the investigation of your complaint. Also, other law enforcement agencies may have jurisdiction to investigate if the violation is of a criminal nature.
The office hours for the Inspections and Internal Affairs Unit are Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. However, our policy is to receive your complaint whenever and wherever you want to make it. Any Springfield Police Department supervisor will provide you with the forms to make your complaint or you can call the phone number above and leave your name and address and we will mail them to you. Finally, if you have access to a computer you can make your complaint online.
The only way we can improve services is by hearing from you about your concerns.
Our Policy on Investigating
The Springfield Police Department is charged with the responsibility to vigorously and thoroughly investigate alleged police misconduct. The Inspections and Internal Affairs Unit serves as the coordinating authority for all complaints and investigates the more serious Class I complaints. Class I complaints include:
- Intentional discrimination
- Harassment, ridicule, or retaliation in any form against a complainant, employee, or any witness for complaining or otherwise offering evidence in an Internal Affairs or criminal investigation involving police department employees
- Violation of a specific criminal statute
- Severe injury or death resulting from an act or omission of any employee
- Discharge of a firearm whether on or off duty except Less Lethal Weapons as provided by department directive
- A complaint in the form of an intent to file civil action that alleges or suggests improper conduct on the part of an employee
- As directed by the Chief of Police
Inspections and Internal Affairs is strictly an investigative unit. We determine the facts of the case. We do not determine the truth of the complaint. That determination is left to the accused employee's supervisors and the Chief of Police. Our goal is to insure a fair and expeditious investigation in accordance with local, state, and federal laws and with City of Springfield and Police Department policies.
The Police Department's responsibilities are to receive and record your complaint, evaluate it for assignment, conduct an impartial investigation, make an unbiased disposition, and correct the misconduct if it is found.
Your responsibility is to report the facts as clearly as possible to us and as soon as possible after the incident. False complaints, with a specific intent to unjustly subject a police employee to undeserved discipline or slander, or to place his/her employment status in jeopardy, can result in criminal charges being brought against you.
How is a Complaint Classified After Completion
of the Investigation?
All investigations receive one of the following dispositions:
- UnfoundedThe allegation is false or not factual.
- Not InvolvedThe employee was not present at the time the alleged misconduct occurred.
- Not SustainedThere is insufficient evidence to prove or disprove the complaint.
- SustainedThe allegation of misconduct is true.
- ExoneratedThe incident happened but the employee acted lawfully and properly.
- Policy FailureThe incident may or may
not have occurred, but the investigation disclosed faulty policies,
procedures, or rules.
What Discipline May Be Administered?
Administrative discipline used in misconduct cases may include:
- Oral counseling
- Documented oral counseling
- Written reprimand
- Reduction in rank
- Suspension without pay
- Dismissal from service
We understand the reason why a complainant wants to know what level of discipline was brought against an officer in a sustained complaint. Under current Missouri state law (610.100 RSMo.), the disposition of disciplinary cases are considered closed records and therefore confidential. We cannot legally release such information. In fact, doing so would subject the City of Springfield and the Police Department to lawsuit. We can only tell you that we have verified, not verified, or insufficient information exists to verify the complaint.
What if I Am Not Satisfied? The Appeal Process
If you remain dissatisfied upon receiving a letter from the Inspections and Internal Affairs Unit informing you of the final disposition of your complaint, you may appeal the decision.
Within 45 days of the date of the letter informing you of the disposition of your case, you may file a written appeal request at the Office of the City Clerk, 4th floor, Busch Municipal Building, 840 Boonville, Springfield, MO 65802.
The Police Civilian Review Board will consider your complaint after receiving your written appeal. The Board will review the complaint and may or may not ask for your testimony in a hearing. A report of findings is then made to the City Manager and the Chief of Police and later to City Council.
You will not be able to contact members of the Police Civilian Review Board by telephone nor can you appeal to the board directly without completing the Police Department internal investigation process.
Go to Citizen Complaint Form.