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Investigating Citizen Complaints & Officer Misconduct for Supervisors

Length of Seminar: 2.5 Days
Instructor: Richard Lober

Course Overview:

Each law enforcement agency is responsible for having an effective and professional process for investigations of complaints made against its officers and employees. Supervisors assigned to investigate such must insure that all internal investigations are handled in a prompt, fair & impartial manner. The public, the accused officer and Agency Leadership expect supervisors/investigators to effectively deal with performance and/or misconduct incidents. Misconduct investigations are unlike most other investigations and require a fact-finding approach and transparency in order to retain the publicís confidence and trust. A police agency must demonstrate to the public and its members that only the highest ethical standards of law enforcement will be practiced by the agency and that the investigation of complaints follow established professional standards. Immediate and proper intervention of potential employee performance or misconduct incidents, at the appropriate level, serves to promote morale within the agency and promotes interaction and support of the community.

Seminar Goals:

1. Attendees will learn the importance of ethical standards for persons assigned to conduct internal investigations of its officers and core values associated with the proper handling of all internal investigations.

2. Attendees will learn about the impact of internal investigations on officersí conduct and ethical decision-making

3. Attendees will learn the differences between performance matters and serious misconduct and the supervisorís role in handling such incidents.

4. To inform the attendees of the importance of an open, unbiased and responsive complaint intake process and their impact on the process.

5. To define the different types of reviews involving internal reviews of alleged misconduct (complaint review, inquiry, investigation) and achieve the objectives of personnel investigations.

6. To acquaint attendees regarding the interviewing techniques associated with internal investigations.

7. The attendee will learn the differences in interviewing civilians, witness officers and subject officers.

8. The attendee will also learn the difference between an interview and an interrogation.

9. To inform the attendees of union contract rights and Law Enforcement Officer Bill of Rights and their applicability to internal complaints/investigations.

10. To inform attendees about the constitutional limitations of taking compelled statements from public employees or regarding work-place searches in both the administrative and criminal settings and provide recommendations for agency policy/practices.

11. To acquaint the attendees with the Weingarten doctrine, regarding the right to union representation, and its applicability to speaking to employees about potential misconduct matters.

12. To acquaint the attendees about the benefits of Early Intervention Systems as well as other effective proactive measures that can reduce incidents of misconduct within their agencies.

13. To inform the attendees about their personal exposure and liabilities for failing to effectively manage and investigate their personnel.

14. To inform attendees about the legal considerations, particularly for supervisors/managers, when dealing with complaints of discrimination or sexual harassment.

15. To acquaint attendees with the seven profiles of criminal sexual misconduct involving law enforcement personnel and how to recognize and address this phenomenon.



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