COMMENDATIONS AND COMPLAINTS
The Strongsville Police Department expects a very high level of professional conduct from all employees; however, members of the department frequently perform their duties in a manner exceeding even the highest standards of the department. A citizen's commendation of such performance provides genuine recognition to those who have brought honor to themselves and the department.
Officers face many difficult challenges within the scope of their duties. Accordingly, receiving thanks from members of the community certainly would be meaningful and appreciated by the individual officer, his or her peers, and the command staff.
Written commendations can be submitted by mail, internet, or in-person at the lobby of the police department. To commend the actions of an officer by phone, please contact the police department at 440-238-7373 and ask for the Officer-in-Charge.
The City of Strongsville has an excellent Police Department. Each employee is talented and well trained. In order to maintain our high standards, we appreciate feedback from the citizens we serve. At times, we fail to live up to an individual's expectations because of misunderstandings about the police function, authority or limitations. Sometimes, mistakes are made. Please bring your concerns, trivial or serious, to our attention. This allows us to be aware of public needs and makes us more responsive to our citizens.
The following is the procedure to bring these problems to the attention of the Police Department:
1. Contact the Police Department and ask to speak to the Officer-in-Charge. Complaints can be received either in person, by phone, or by mail. If you choose to make your complaint over the phone, the Officer-in-Charge will still ask you to write and drop off, or mail in, your own written statement. Although this is not required in order to file a complaint, we ask all persons making complaints to have their statement written out so we do not make a mistake in their interpretation.
2. If you do not want to make your complaint to the Officer-in-Charge of the shift, you may make your complaint directly to the Internal Affairs Supervisor. Your complaint can be mailed to his/her attention or you can phone him/her directly by calling: (440) 580-3234.
3. You can also make your complaint anonymously by phone or mail, although this is not recommended. If you choose to file your complaint anonymously, we will be unable to confirm its receipt, and the Chief of Police will be unable to give you a disposition after our investigation is completed. Also, we will not be able to clear up any misunderstandings during our investigation.
4. After your complaint is received by the Police Department, it will be reviewed by the Chief of Police and the Internal Affairs Supervisor. You will be sent a letter advising that your complaint was received and is being investigated.
5. When the investigation is complete, you will receive a letter from the Chief of Police informing you of the findings and outcome of the investigation.
6. If you have questions about this process or about the status of a complaint, please contact the Internal Affairs Supervisor at (440) 580-3234
Commonly asked questions regarding Internal Affairs Investigations
1. Who will investigate my complaint?
The Chief of Police will assign your complaint to the Internal Affairs Supervisor for investigation.
2. I'm under 18; do I have the right to complain?
Yes, just bring one of your parents, guardian or a responsible adult with you.
3. Will I have to write my complaint out?
We have found that it is much easier to investigate a written complaint, so we prefer them that way. If there is valid reason this can't be done, we'll make other arrangements.
4. How close will you really investigate?
Very closely! We want to find out where we went wrong. In the same way, if a person makes a FALSE complaint, we want to find out and take appropriate legal action.
5. Does that mean I can get in trouble for complaining?
Not if what you are telling us is the truth. We're only interested in prosecuting those who make malicious, false accusations against people. We wouldn't (and couldn't) bring charges against a person acting in good faith.
6. What will happen to the employee?
That will depend on what he or she did. If his/her actions were criminal, he or she would be dealt with like any other citizen. If they were improper, but not criminal, he or she will be disciplined by the Chief of Police.
7. Will I be told how the complaint was resolved?
Yes. You will receive a letter from the Chief of Police telling you the disposition of our investigation.
8. What about the lie detector?
In certain cases, where we can't find the truth any other way, you may be asked to submit to a polygraph examination. The same is true of our employees.
9. What if I'm not satisfied with the results of this investigation?
We sincerely hope that will never happen. If it does, you could still contact the Mayor, City Council, the Prosecutor's Office, or a private attorney.
Our goal at the Police Department is that you will never need to use the information
contained on both sides of this informational bulletin. We don't want to fail
in our continuing efforts to give you the best possible police service.