Providing police services can often be a very difficult and complex job. The Hamilton County Sheriff's Office recognizes that mistakes may be made and the actions of department employees may fall short of your expectations.
Goals and Objectives
- To focus on identifying areas of Police misconduct, monitoring police relations with the public and identifying the need for new or revised policies or training.
- Investigate each complaint with integrity and honesty through the highest standards of ethics and performance.
- Show professional excellence through leadership, cooperation and dedication to service.
Method of Complaint
Any person who wishes to file an Internal Affairs complaint shall be allowed to do so. All Internal Affairs complaints shall be taken at the Internal Affairs office located at the Hamilton County Sheriff's Office Support Services Building. The Internal Affairs Divisions normal business hours are 8:00 AM to 4:30 PM (Eastern) Monday through Friday. Complainants who wish to file a report at any other time shall be accommodated. Complainants may also call the Internal Affairs Division at (423) 209-8946 during regular business hours to talk with an investigator.
Location of Complaint
Never shall Internal Affairs complaints be taken at any location other than the Internal Affairs office located at the Hamilton County Sheriff's Office Support Services Building:
Lt. Robert Lee
6233 Dayton Blvd
Chattanooga, Tennessee 37343
Phone: (423) 209-8946
Fax: (423) 209-8880
If, special circumstances exist, the administration is notified and a decision will be made on a case by case basis on how to accommodate the complainant.
Complaint Form and Requirements
When a complainant files a complaint he or she shall be required to fill out the Hamilton County Sheriff's Office Internal Affairs Complaint Form. The investigator may fill out the form via computer with the exception of the narrative section, the signature and the date and time of signature. The complaintant must hand write these particular parts before an internal complaint shall be initiated. (Under special circumstances this section can be waived. The administration must be notified immediately).
How are complaints investigated?
After the complaint is made you will be required to give a formal statement. The Internal Affairs Division supervisor will arrange a date and time for you to meet with the internal affairs investigator assigned to the investigation at the Hamilton County Sheriff's Office Support Services Building. At this point the investigator will review the signed complaint form and take a formal statement.
Once you make the complaint, the investigation will proceed with or without your cooperation. The investigator will interview witnesses, take formal statements when appropriate and collect and analyze all available evidence.
How are investigations concluded?
All investigations or hearings of department members or employees accused of misconduct will be concluded with one of the following:
Unfounded: The investigation indicates that the act or acts complained of did not occur or failed to involve police personnel;
Exonerated: Acts did occur, but were justified, lawful and proper;
Not - Sustained: Investigation fails to discover sufficient evidence to clearly prove or disprove the allegations made in the complaint;
Sustained: The investigation disclosed sufficient evidence to clearly prove the allegations made in the complaint. The investigator assigned to the case will notify the complainant of the conclusion of case. The letter will only address one of the above listed conclusions. The investigations will be forwarded to the Sheriff for his review and any disciplinary actions. All Internal Affairs investigations and contents are confidential. Only the Sheriff may release information relating to an open internal affairs investigation.
Each case is taken very seriously and will always be fairly and impartially investigated. It is impossible to put a time limit on any investigation, as the seriousness of the allegations vary, but every effort will be made to keep complainants informed.
If you have a complaint with any member of the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office or Support Personnel contact the Internal Affairs Office at (423) 209-8946. Information may also be submitted through the Internal Affairs Tip Submission Form and reviewed by Internal Affairs.