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How to Commend a Department Employee

Citizens are able to commend a Department employee as a way of saying thanks for exemplary service or to let the employee know you appreciate their efforts in handling a call for service. You may call the Chief’s Office at 201-641-6400, send an e-mail or complete the form using the link below. We will be sure to forward your message of thanks to the employee and include it in their personnel file. Please include the employee’s name; date, time, and the location of incident as well as the circumstances surrounding the incident.

Download the commendation form here.

Complaint Policy

The Ridgefield Park Police Department is concerned about the level of police service provided to the community by our personnel. Through a continual program of in-service training and internet based written directive and training system, officers receive year-round instruction and training designed to improve their skills, which ultimately, improves the service provided to our community.

There will be times when citizens observe police conduct they feel is questionable. Citizens must be able to bring their legitimate concerns regarding police actions to the attention of the department for review.

Concerns over police actions are sometimes based on a misunderstanding of police policy and procedure or the law. Our supervisors are happy to discuss your concerns and explain an officer’s actions in a given situation.

Other times, malicious and false complaints are filed by individuals with a grudge against an officer for making an arrest or issuing a traffic citation. It is the responsibility of the Police Department to address all complaints and differentiate between false complaints and legitimate concerns. In fairness to our employees those citizens who make false allegations against police officers may be subject to criminal prosecution.

Registering a Complaint

A complaint may be filed by any individual.  Anonymous complaints are accepted with the understanding that a follow up investigation is more difficult when the complainant is unknown. Complaints may be registered at the Police Department in person, via telephone, the mail or by completing the complaint form using the link below. Complainants are asked to complete the complaint form, which includes a statement of the facts known to the person at that time.

Once received, all complaints are forwarded to Internal Affairs Office for review. Whenever possible, minor allegations can be assigned to the employee’s supervisor for investigation.

Complaints of a more serious nature are returned to the Internal Affairs Office to initiate a formal Internal Affairs investigation.

Download the complaint form here.

Investigative Process

Once a complaint has been received, the investigation begins. The process includes obtaining statements from witnesses and the collection of evidence. Investigations are conducted under the stringent guidelines of the New Jersey Attorney General’s Office and Department Policy.
All investigative reports are reviewed by the Internal Affairs Office to ensure completeness and objectivity prior to the case being closed. Reports must not reflect any personal opinion, but rather present an unbiased picture of the facts.

The final report is forwarded to the Chief of Police for evaluation. Appropriate disciplinary action is taken, if necessary.

Those who have filed a complaint are notified by the Internal Affairs Office via mail of the final disposition of the complaint.

Dispositions

The disposition of a complaint is classified as follows:

Sustained Allegation is supported by sufficient evidence.
Not Sustained Not guilty by insufficient evidence to prove or disprove the allegation.
Exonerated Incident occurred but the member acted lawfully and/or properly.
Unfounded Incident did not occur or employee was not involved.

 

Discipline

There are several actions that can be taken in response to a sustained complaint.

  • Training
  • Counseling
  • Oral Reprimand
  • Written Reprimand
  • Suspension
  • Loss of Promotional Opportunity
  • Demotion
  • Termination

2015 IA Summary Report

For more information on the complaint process or if you need assistance in filing a citizen complaint, please contact:

Ridgefield Park Police Department

Internal Affairs Office
201.641-4950 Ext. 138