How do I Report a Corrupt Police Department?

By Nicholas Smith
Local and state officials will probe and follow up on corruption allegations.

police motorcycle image by Aaron Kohr from <a href='http://www.fotolia.com'>Fotolia.com</a>

Citizens wishing to report police misconduct have several options, depending on the nature of the misconduct or corruption. Police departments are monitored by local police review commissions, or various internal enforcement officials, that ensure officer compliance with local, state and federal rules, statutes and regulations. State or federal prosecutors also accept, investigate and follow up on alleged instances of police misconduct. Finally, the United States and state's attorney generals accept complaints and may refer alleged conduct to relevant prosecutors, Various ways to contact these officials are covered below.

Contact the local police review commission or the department's compliance officer. Many city police review commissions are advisory bodies that review and make reports to the city council and other officials. Police review commissions may be located by conducting a search with the name of the city and "police review commission." Additionally, compliance officers may be contacted by accessing the USA Cops website in the references section below.

Contact a local or federal prosecutor. Prosecutors have the ability to hold officials accountable in instances of corruption. At their discretion, they may file criminal and/or civil charges against these officials. Contact one of the U.S. attorneys or local prosecutors in the references section below.

Contact the state's or the United States Attorney General. Attorneys general are known as "top cops," because it is their responsibility to enforce the laws in their various jurisdictions. The locations of these officials are listed in the references section below.

About the Author

Nicholas Smith has written political articles for SmithonPolitics.com, "The Daily Californian" and other publications since 2004. He is a former commissioner with the city of Berkeley, Calif. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in political science from the University of California-Berkeley and a Juris Doctor from St. John's University School of Law.

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