The Complaint Review Committee (CRC) of the Human Relations Commission hears and reviews residents' complaints involving the Greensboro Police Department. Complaints may be filed with the Complaint Review Committee or with the Police Department's Division of Professional Standards.
The Complaint Review Committee and the Police Department encourage any person who believes he or she has a valid grievance to file a complaint.Only by knowing about these incidents, can we properly investigate and take the appropriate action to address them.The Division of Professional Standards' Internal Affairs oversees allegations of misconduct or rules violations by Police Department employees. Professional Standards provides residents with a procedure to present concerns directly to the Police Department, and a system that protects officers from false charges and unwarranted criticism. The CRC provides residents with an independent review of the complaint and the subsequent investigation upon request by the complaining party.
Why File a Complaint?
Law enforcement personnel have some of the greatest challenges any professional faces. They must enforce the law in a fair and impartial manner, protecting the rights of all parties involved, in situations that are often dangerous and complex. If you feel that you have been treated improperly, you should file a complaint to ensure that Police Department employees perform their jobs in accordance with the Rules and Regulations of the Department.
How the Process Works
1. A Complaint is Filed
You may file a complaint in person, by mail, or by phone with the Complaint Review Committee at 336-373-2038, or the Police Department's Division of Professional Standards at 336-373-2468 between the hours of 8 am and 5 pm, Monday through Friday. The office of the Complaint Review Committee is located at 300 West Washington Street, Plaza Level, Room 141, Greensboro, NC 27401. Professional Standards is also located at 300 West Washington Street, Level UG, Greensboro, NC 27401. Try to provide as much information as possible about the incident that led to your complaint: time and date of the occurrence, location, the officer’s name/badge number (if known), and names and telephone numbers of any witnesses. A complaint to the Complaint Review Committee must be made within 60 days of the incident, and an appeal must be made within 30 days of the date the Determination Letter is received from the Police Department.
2. The Complaint is Investigated
When a complaint is filed, it is assigned to an investigator in the Division of Professional Standards or the appropriate supervisor in the officer’s chain of command for investigation.
3. Complaint Review Committee Meeting
In cases where the complaint is made to the Complaint Review Committee or a request for review is made from the initial determination by the Police Department, the committee will review the investigation for impartiality, thoroughness, and an adequate determination. If the committee is satisfied with the investigation and determination, the chair of the committee will send written notification of the results, and close the case. Copies of the closing letter will be sent to the City Manager’s Office, the Legal Department, and the Chief of Police. If the committee is not satisfied with the investigation and issues still remain, any or all of the following steps will be taken to resolve the matter:
- Request additional information or investigation in writing to the Division of Professional Standards
- Meet with the complainant to clarify issues
- Conference with the Police Chief
Read more about how the committee operates
4. City Manager’s Decision
If issues remain unresolved after the Complaint Review Committee meets with the Police Chief, the committee may appeal to the City Manager stating the grounds for disagreement and making recommendations. When the City Manager’s decision is received, the Complaint Review Committee will notify you in writing, and close the case.
The Decision on Your Complaint
Whether your complaint or appeal is filed with the Complaint Review Committee, or your complaint is filed directly with the Police Department, you will receive a letter that tells you the decision reached. All cases filed directly with the Police Department are eligible for review, and the determination letter will include information to help with that process.
Decisions on allegations of police misconduct are settled in one of four ways:
- Sustained - The allegation is supported by sufficient evidence to indicate that the allegation is true.
- Unfounded - The allegation is false or the facts show that the accused employee could not have committed the violation.
- Not Sustained - There is insufficient evidence to either prove or disprove the allegation.
- Exonerated - The complaint or allegation occurred, but the investigation revealed that the employee's actions were justified, lawful, and proper.
If the allegation against an officer is sustained, the Chief of Police or a supervisor takes the proper corrective measures. The officer is notified of the outcome of the investigation and, if warranted, any resulting disciplinary action. The letter you will receive will not disclose the specifics of any resulting disciplinary action since this is not permitted under North Carolina law.
To Commend a Police Department Employee
If you have been assisted by a Police Department employee and you want to praise or commend the employee, you may call or write to: Greensboro Police Department, Office of the Chief of Police, 300 West Washington Street, PO Box 3136, Greensboro NC 27402-3136, 336-373-2450, Monday through Friday 8 am to 5 pm.