Civilian Complaint Policy

Initial Complaints Alleging Officer Misconduct

  1. Purpose
    • The purpose of this policy is to provide guidelines for receiving complaints of alleged officer misconduct.
  2. Policy
    • It is the policy of the South Kingstown Police Department that the duty OIC will initially interview any citizen wishing to register a complaint alleging officer misconduct. The OIC will debrief the complainant as to the allegation and explain the department protocol (applicable rule and regulation) and determine what resolution the complainant may be seeking. This interaction would provide a professional approach and would alert the OIC that a complaint has been made before being referred to the Internal Affairs Unit (IAU). If the complainant decides to file a formal complaint the OIC will explain the process and provide the applicable form.
    • This eliminates officers, dispatchers, or civilian employees from handing out a civilian complaint form.
  3. Definition
    • Police Misconduct: Violation of any Federal or State laws as well as violation of Department Rules and Regulations, Policies, Standing Orders, or Town Ordinances.
  4. Procedure
    1. When a citizen contacts a department member or employee for the purpose of filing or discussing a complaint of alleged police misconduct, that person will be referred directly to the duty OIC regardless of what shift the incident occurred.
    2. It is the responsibility of the duty OIC to respond to the station and initiate an interview with the complainant or arrange an interview if the complainant is not readily available.
    3. The OIC will interview the complainant to determine if the allegation appears to be an administrative infraction or a violation of law. The OIC will explain the applicable regulation to the complainant and attempt to mediate the issue if the alleged violation is administrative only.
    4. If the complainant wishes to pursue a formal complaint as provided by Law and Standing Order 87-04, the OIC will provide the complainant with a complaint form and explain the process of an IAU investigation.
    5. Once a complaint is generated either at the time of the initial OIC interview or when the complaint form is delivered, it will be forwarded to the Police Chief for review and possible referral to IAU.
    6. Upon completion of the initial interview the OIC will generate a report to the Captain of Operations identifying the accused officer(s) along with the name, address and telephone number of the complainant and a description of the incident. If a formal complaint is made the OIC will forward the complaint form to the Captain of Operations indicating the time, date and place the OIC interviewed the complainant.
    7. The Chief and Captains may receive complaints directly in situations where the complainant specifically requests such a meeting.


The South Kingstown Police Department does not discriminate on the basis of age, sex, race, religion, national origin, color or disability in accordance with applicable Federal and State laws and regulation. Our agency is the sub-recipient of Federal grant funds administered by the Rhode Island Department of Public Safety Grant Administration Office (RIPSGAO). If you believe you have been discriminated against you should notify the Office of the Police Chief and the RIPSGAO.