What happens when I file a complaint?

As a citizen, you are encouraged to contact the Boise Police Department if you have a complaint about the actions of a police officer or non-sworn employee if you believe their conduct was inappropriate or that they have violated the law. Persons submitting or involved in a complaint regarding a department member's conduct shall not be hindered or harassed in any manner for their action. The staff of the Office of Internal Affairs can answer questions about actions of officers, initiate a complaint against an officer, and conduct investigations of police conduct. Although we encourage citizens to report police misconduct, complaints must be made in good faith. False or highly exaggerated complaints serve no good purpose for either the citizens or the officer and only tend to thwart our complaint-taking process. Anyone who willfully makes any false accusation for the purpose of discrediting a police officer may be prosecuted.

Complaints of misconduct are classified as either Class I (serious) or Class II (minor.)  Either the employee's supervisor or the Office of Internal Affairs may investigate allegations of minor misconduct. The Office of Internal Affairs investigates allegations of serious misconduct, such as excessive force, abuse of authority, or criminal violations.

Once an investigation is completed, a finding is made based on the preponderance of evidence in the case.   The Chief of Police makes the final decision on the disposition of the complaint and then both the complainant and the employee(s) are notified of the outcome.