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Citizen Complaints

The York City Police Department has recognized the fact that its officers are responsible to the public for their conduct. At certain times a conflict may exist between a citizen and a police officer in the performance of their duties.

If you believe that a police officer has violated your rights in the performance of their duties, YOU SHOULD BRING IT TO THE ATTENTION OF THE ON-DUTY SUPERVISOR of the officer being complained against. The supervisor will discuss the matter with you; and if the discussion reveals that a complaint is in order, the supervisor will assist you in the preparation of a CITIZEN COMPLAINT FORM. The initial contact may be made by telephone, letter, or a personal visit.

Be sure to give all the information concerning the incident, including witnesses, Many details which seem small at the time may later prove to be of great value in the investigation, All valid complaints will be investigated per department procedures, After the investigation is completed, you will be notified of the results.

This information has been prepared as an effort to promote better understanding between you and your police department.

The accurate and unbiased investigation of complaints or allegations against members of a police department is one of the basic requirements of good law enforcement and effective public relations, Because the majority of our duties involve the regulation and control of human conduct, it must be expected that complaints will regularly be received from persons who feel that they have been subjected to unfair, unwarranted and occasionally criminal police actions. Regardless of its source, nature and apparent validity, each complaint must be thoroughly investigated and the complainant made aware of both the investigative process and the action taken, if any.

Issuing a Citizen Complaint

1 - Contact a Police Supervisor to discuss your complaint. 
Initial contact may be made by telephone, letter or a personal visit.

Ask for a supervisor at the Police Dept., 50 W. King St., (717) 846-1234; or Contact Internal Affairs, Inspector Dana Ward, at 1 Marketway West, 3rd Floor, phone (717) 849-2260; or Write to Internal Affairs at the following address:

Inspector Dana Ward

Internal Affairs
50 West King St.
York PA 17401-2471

2 - Fill out a Citizen Complaint Report.
These forms are not for reporting crimes. If you would like to report a crime, please call (717) 846-1234.

The supervisor will assist you. You may have your own representative present.  If you do not speak English, the department will provide an interpreter for you, free of charge.

3 - Meet with the Supervisor and officer involved in an attempt to resolve the matter.

The complainant may waive this step if the complainant feels uncomfortable about facing the officer in a meeting with the supervisor.

In many cases, such a discussion will be the only action required to satisfy a complainant and resolve the matter without further investigation.

If the complaint involves allegations of serious misconduct or brutality, the supervisor may proceed with an internal investigation without scheduling a meeting as outlined above.

4 - If you are not satisfied after the meeting, your complaint will be forwarded to the Internal Affairs division for further investigation.

An Inspector or Commanding Officer will contact you regarding further investigation of your complaint within ten working days.

If you have not been contacted within that time, please call (717) 846-1234 between 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Mondays through Fridays, and ask to speak to the Inspector.

5 - At the conclusion of the investigation you will be notified of the findings.

If the complaint or allegation is sustained, you will be notified if disciplinary proceedings were in accordance departmental procedures.

If you do not speak English you will be notified by in your language.

 Citizen Complaint Forms