Citizens Complaints

Our Policy

It is the policy of the Elmira Police Department to investigate complaints against the Department or its employees. This ensures the integrity of the Department while protecting the rights and interests of both citizens and Department employees.

Who May Complain?

Any person who witnesses or has knowledge of police misconduct, may file a complaint with the Elmira Police Department.

When Should You Complain?

You should contact the Department whenever you become aware of conduct by any Department employee that may be improper.

How Do You File a Complaint?

Generally, complaints are filed through the supervisor of the employee involved. If the immediate supervisor is unavailable, another supervisor may take the complaint. The Department uses a standardized form to file all complaints, and the supervisor taking your complaint completes this form. Complaints may also be made directly to the Department's Deputy Chief or the Chief of Police.

Where Can You File a Complaint?

Generally complaints may be filed at Police Headquarters. If you are uncomfortable coming to Police Headquarters we can meet you at another location, such as the offices of the Chemung County Commission on Human Relations.

Will Every Complaint be Investigated?

The Department encourages resolution of complaints by mediating or explaining the matter whenever possible. Complaints that cannot be resolved through mediation or explanation will be referred for investigation.

Mediation

Experience has shown that many complaints we have received are due to a lack of knowledge, or misunderstanding, of police policies and procedures. The supervisor taking the information about your complaint will offer to mediate your complaint, which may include:

  • an explanation our policies and procedures;
  • discussions with the personnel involved; or
  • other efforts to resolve your complaint in a manner that you are satisfied with.

If you do not wish to have your complaint mediated, you may request that an internal investigation into your complaint be initiated.

Who Investigates the Complaints?

The Chief of Police or his/her designee is responsible for the investigation of complaints against Department employees. The Chief may personally investigate the complaint or assign it to another Department supervisor for investigation.

How Long Will the Investigation Take?

Every investigation is different. While we recognize that it is important to complete the investigation as quickly as possible our primary goal is conduct a thorough and impartial investigation.

Who Reviews the Complaint and Investigation?

Every complaint and investigation is personally reviewed by the Chief of Police who makes a finding for each allegation of misconduct.

Will I be Notified of the Outcome of the Investigation?

Yes. After a thorough investigation of the complaint, The Chief of Police will contact you. You will be advised of the investigation's outcome and whether disciplinary action will be taken.

RESPONSIBILITY - OURS AND YOURS.

The Elmira Police Department views all citizen complaints against its employees very seriously and actively pursues investigation into misconduct. For this reason, you must ensure that your complaint is based on fact and you have provided us with all of these facts to the best of your ability. If you intentionally make a false report to this department, you should know that making the false report could result in criminal and/or civil legal proceedings being filed against you.

OUR COMMITMENT TO YOU.

Employees of the Elmira Police Department shall at all times strive to be courteous and professional in all dealings with the citizens we serve. It is the hope of the Elmira Police Department that all of your contacts with our officers are positive. If not, we will endeavor to resolve your complaint to your satisfaction in a prompt and objective way.

How to Contact the Elmira Police Department

Mailing Address:
Elmira Police Department
317 East Church Street
Elmira, New York 14901

Chief of Police
(607) 737-5630

Patrol Supervisors' Office
(607) 737-5623
 

Detective Bureau Supervisor
(607) 737-5610

 

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