The Elyria Police Department is committed to providing quality police service while maintaining high standards of conduct of our employees. Through the complaint handling process the Elyria Police Department is committed to:
- Protection of the Public: The public has a right to expect efficient, fair, and impartial law enforcement service. Therefore, any misconduct by Departmental personnel must be detected, thoroughly investigated, and properly adjudicated to assure the maintenance of these qualities.
- Protection of the Department: The Department is often evaluated and judged by the actions or words of individual employees. It is imperative that the entire organization not be subjected to public censure because of misconduct by a few of its members. When an informed public knows that its police department honestly and fairly investigates and adjudicates all allegations against its members, the public will be less likely to feel any need to raise a cry of indignation over alleged incidents of misconduct.
- Protection of the Employee: Employees must be protected against false allegations of misconduct. Although being the focus of an investigation may be unpleasant or uncomfortable, the best protection for any employee who has actually done nothing wrong is a complete and thorough investigation conducted in a timely manner that clearly and unequivocally supports the employee’s honesty and integrity.
- Removal of Unfit Employees: Employees who engage in serious acts of misconduct or who have demonstrated that they are unfit for law enforcement work must be removed for the protection of the public, the Department, and Department personnel.
- Correction of Procedural Problems: The Department is constantly seeking to improve its services and the efficiency of its employees. Occasionally, complaint investigations disclose faulty policy or procedures that would otherwise have gone undetected. These policies or procedures may then be improved and/or corrected.
What types of complaints are accepted by the Department?
- Employee Involved Complaint means that action taken by a citizen to bring to the attention of the Elyria Police Department any unresolved dissatisfaction with police action or inaction that involves an alleged or suspected violation by any member of the Department of statutes, ordinances, rules & regulations, or departmental policy and procedures.
- Department Complaint means actions taken by any person to bring to the attention of the Elyria Police Department, any unresolved dissatisfaction with Department procedure, practice, methods that do not meet the criteria of an employee involved complaint.
- If the only complaint is a contention of innocence of a charge without any allegation of misconduct by the officer, you should seek judicial redress through established court procedure.
It is a violation of Ohio law to file a false complaint against a police officer (Ohio Revised Code 2921.15).
Who Handles Citizen Complaints?
First line supervisors are generally assigned to investigate complaints dealing with quality of service. Examples of these complaints are:
- Discourtesy/unprofessional attitude
- Lack of proper service
- Improper procedure (ex.: offense investigation, use of discretion, official law enforcement practices and Police Department Procedures)
The Chief of Police generally assigns an Internal Affairs Investigator to investigate allegations of misconduct and/or the judicial system. Examples of these complaints are:
- Criminal conduct
- Sexual misconduct
- Use of excessive force
- Unnecessary pointing of firearms at persons
- Serious misconduct (ex.: severe nature or pattern of procedural violations, lack of service, etc.)
- Improper searches and seizures
How Do I File A Complaint?
The Department Complaint Form is available on the Department’s website at (www.cityofelyria.org/police) or at the Records window 24 hours a day.
A complaint can be filed in writing, verbally, in person or by mail, telephone, fax, or e-mail.
Specific instructions are attached on the back of the Department Complaint Form.
Completed forms can be faxed, mailed or e-mailed to:
Office of the Chief of Police
18 West Ave, Elyria OH 44035
Phone: (440) 326-1337 FAX: (440) 326-1338
What Information Do I Need?
On the Department Complaint Form, you will be requested to give your name, address, phone numbers where you can be reached, and the name, address and phone numbers of any witnesses.
You will also need to provide the date, time and facts of the incident. If you have the officer’s name, badge number, unit of assignment or car number, it would be helpful (but is not necessary).
How Will My Complaint Be Resolved?
Quality-Of-Service Complaints will be assigned to a supervisor and fully investigated.
Allegations of Misconduct will be assigned to an investigator and fully investigated.
Upon completion of this investigation a report will be forwarded to the Police Chief for final disposition.