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(1) Complaint intake.

(a) Any person may lodge a complaint or commendation with the auditor’s office about the conduct of, or services provided by, a city police employee;

(b) The auditor’s office is the intake center for all community complaints about police employees. City employees may choose to lodge complaints against another employee through either internal affairs or the auditor’s office. The auditor’s office shall document all contacts and complaints received from any source. The auditor’s office may refer a complainant to another department in the city or another agency that would be more appropriate to address the complaint.

(c) If the city receives a claim for damages that alleges that a police employee caused the damage, a copy of the claim shall be forwarded to the auditor’s office for a determination as to whether the claim should also be classified and processed as a complaint.

(d) The auditor’s office conducts the preliminary investigation of all complaints lodged with the auditor’s office or internal affairs to appropriately classify and route the complaint and any accompanying information accordingly. The auditor has exclusive authority to classify, route and reclassify complaints. The auditor may reclassify a complaint if, upon further investigation and receipt of additional information that was not available at the time of intake, but before the completion of the investigation, the auditor finds reclassification is warranted.

(e) If a complaint is received that alleges criminal conduct on the part of the employee, the police auditor shall forward the complaint and any associated information to the chief of police.

(f) The auditor’s office may determine whether a complaint is appropriate for mediation or facilitated conversation, and upon the voluntary agreement of the involved parties and approval of the chief of police, shall coordinate the resolution of such cases.

1. Mediation is an alternative to the investigation, adjudication and disciplinary process; if the parties agree to mediation, the investigation, adjudication and disciplinary process will end.

2. A facilitated conversation may, but does not necessarily, result in termination of the investigation, adjudication and disciplinary process.

(g) The auditor’s office classifies complaints that will be treated as community impact cases and provides support to the civilian review board in its review of those cases and other cases accepted by the civilian review board.

(h) The auditor’s office shall provide timely updates on the status of a complaint and notification to the complainant of its final disposition.

(i) The auditor’s office may dismiss a complaint if upon review, it meets criteria that the auditor has established for such action, including reporting delays and/or insufficient information from which to take further action.

(j) The auditor may review and process a complaint not filed directly with the auditor’s office if the auditor determines that concerns have been expressed about conduct of a police employee(s).

(k) Except for good cause, complaints of minor misconduct involving courtesy, communications, and minor rules violations that might be handled as service complaints shall be filed within 60 days of the incident.

(l) Except for good cause, complaints of serious misconduct including, for example, excessive force that causes substantial physical injury, egregious acts of disparate treatment, or major rules violations shall be filed within 6 months of the incident.

(2) Complaint Investigations.

(a) Except as provided in paragraph (b) of this subsection, administrative investigations of complaints shall not commence until after the auditor has received, classified and routed the complaint. The investigation shall commence upon classification or as soon as possible after classification.

(b) Paragraph (a) of this subsection shall not preclude preliminary investigations by the auditor’s office, or a police supervisor’s attempt to address a service complaint, provided that the supervisor prepares and forwards to the auditor within 24 hours a report identifying the complainant and contact information for the complainant, and explaining the nature of the service complaint and the outcome of the supervisor’s conversation with the complainant.

(c) If the chief of police determines that all or a part of an administrative investigation should be postponed in order to avoid jeopardizing a criminal investigation or prosecution, the chief of police shall request the auditor’s agreement on postponement. If the auditor and chief of police are unable to agree on the postponement, then they shall present in writing their respective positions to the municipal court judge, who shall then decide whether all or part of an administrative investigation will be postponed.

(d) The police auditor shall actively monitor internal investigations to ensure a thorough, objective, and timely investigation, and is authorized to:

1. Participate in complainant, employee and witness interviews;

2. Require the city to undertake additional investigation.

(e) The police auditor may require, and is authorized to contract for, an external investigation when the police auditor determines that an external investigation is appropriate.

(f) The police auditor will not be directly involved in any criminal investigations, but shall be kept apprised of the status of such investigations involving police employees. The police auditor shall have access to the case file relevant to the administrative portion of such investigations.

(g) All case files shall be provided to the police auditor upon conclusion of the investigation for review and a determination that the investigation was thorough and complete. Once the investigation is deemed complete, the involved employee’s immediate supervisor will confer with the police auditor and develop a case adjudication recommendation that will be forwarded through the chain of command to the chief of police for final adjudication. If the police auditor disagrees with the supervisor’s recommendation, his/her disagreements and comments will be documented and forwarded to the chief of police as well. The immediate supervisor and police auditor will use their best efforts to complete this process in a timely manner and without unreasonably delaying the final adjudication of the case. If the investigation reveals evidence of criminal conduct not previously known, the auditor may refer the matter to the appropriate criminal prosecutor for his/her consideration.

(h) The auditor’s office will make every reasonable effort to notify the complainant that an investigation has been conducted, summarize the case findings, and provide an opportunity for the complainant to comment or ask questions about the process.

(i) The auditor’s office shall return all case file materials to internal affairs for retention, but shall have subsequent access to closed cases.

(j) The police auditor shall maintain an on-going status report on the work of the auditor’s office and case investigations and shall share it with the civilian review board.

(3) Access to Records and Materials.

(a) Except to the extent that a specified state or federal law provides to the contrary, or where information resides on a restricted database governed by a contract that does not allow access beyond certain law enforcement employees:

1. The auditor shall have complete and unrestricted access to all complaints, investigative records and information obtained or developed by the internal affairs investigator related to an administrative investigation of a complaint, whether the information exists in electronic format or hard copy, including information stored on an internal affairs database;

2. The auditor shall be provided any other information identified by the auditor that is relevant to a complaint; and

3. The identity of any individual involved in an event giving rise to a complaint shall not be withheld from the auditor.

(b) When legally required or requested by the chief of police, the auditor shall keep confidential the name of any such individual involved in a complaint and other information leading to the name of the individual.

(c) Except as provided in section 2.456(2)(f), the police auditor shall not have access to a criminal investigation file until the conclusion of any such criminal investigation.

(d) The police auditor shall supervise the development and implementation of a case management system to track all complaints received in coordination with the internal affairs unit, report case statistics and trends, and provide performance indicators to evaluate the effectiveness of the auditor’s office.

(e) The chief of police and police auditor shall develop cooperative interdepartmental procedures and any necessary infrastructure to coordinate the flow of information and communication between the auditor’s office and the police department.

(Section 2.456 added by Ordinance No. 20374, enacted December 13, 2006, effective January 12, 2007; and amended by Ordinance No. 20435, enacted August 10, 2009, effective September 11, 2009.)