Professional Standards

Professional Standards

CITIZEN COMMENDATION AND COMPLAINT PROCEDURE

The Vanderburgh County Sheriff's Office continuously monitors the performance of its employees in order to ensure the highest quality professional law enforcement services to the citizens and the visitors of Vanderburgh County.  The Sheriff's Office is sincerely interested in rewarding above average performance and in taking corrective action in those instances where an employee fails to meet our standards.

The below procedures will provide you with information regarding recognition for an employee whose work is considered worthy of praise; or making a complaint against an employee who is believed to have acted improperly.

COMMENDATION PROCEDURE

To commend or compliment the performance of a Vanderburgh County Sheriff's Office employee, notify a Sheriff's Office Supervisor:

  • By coming in person to the Sheriff's Command Post on US Hwy 41 North or to the Sheriff's Administration Office at the Vanderburgh County Detention Center at 3500 N. Harlan Ave, Evansville, IN 47711 or;
  • By writing the Vanderburgh County Sheriff's Office, Attn: Chief Deputy, 3500 N. Harlan Ave, Evansville, IN 47711; or Professional Standards Unit at 5607 US Hwy 41 North, Evansville, IN  47711 or;
  • By telephone at 812-421-6201 or 812-421-6203.

When a compliment or commendation is received verbally, a memorandum citing the facts will be completed by the receiving employee and forwarded through the chain of command to the Sheriff.  When a compliment or commendation is received by mail, it will be forwarded through the chain of command to the Sheriff.

Letters of commendation from citizens are posted for all office employees to view, and placed in the employee's file. The Sheriff's Office and its employees appreciate the effort and consideration of concerned citizens who take the time to commend employee performance.

For more information regarding commendation or complaint procedures, email Lt. Tony Carden acarden@vanderburghsheriff.com.

COMPLAINT PROCEDURE

It is the policy of the Vanderburgh County Sheriff's Office to investigate all allegations and complaints of misconduct against any member of the Sheriff's Office. Proper adherence to the provisions of this policy will clear the innocent and facilitate prompt equitable corrective disciplinary actions.

To make a complaint against a Vanderburgh County Sheriff's Office employee, notification should be made to a department supervisor:

  • By coming in person to the Sheriff's Command Post on US Hwy 41 North or to the Sheriff's Administration Office at the Vanderburgh County Detention Center at 3500 N. Harlan Ave, Evansville, IN 47711.
  • By writing the Vanderburgh County Sheriff's Office, Attn: Chief Deputy, 3500 N. Harlan Ave, Evansville, IN  47711; or Professional Standards Unit at 5607 US Hwy 41 North, Evansville, IN  47711 or;
  • By telephone at 812-421-6201 or 812-421-6203.

Letters or telephone calls can be anonymous. Any complaint received by any member of the department will be directed to supervisory personnel immediately.   A Sheriff's Office supervisor will complete a Citizen Complaint Form on all complaints based on the information provided.

If the allegation of misconduct is extremely serious in nature, the Sheriff or Chief Deputy will be notified as soon as possible. Examples of extremely serious allegations include complaints against command personnel, complaints of excessive use-of-force resulting in injury or complaints of criminal activity.

Complaints received concerning employees may be assigned to the employee's supervisor or section commander in the following instances:

  • Complaints of harassment;
  • Complaints of demeanor;
  • Complaints of excessive force not resulting in injury;
  • Complaints of improper vehicle operation

A Professional Standards investigator may be assigned to conduct investigations involving:

  • Complaints of criminal activity;
  • Complaints against command personnel;
  • Complaints of sexual harassment;
  • Instances involving the discharge of a firearm or deadly force;
  • Complaints of excessive force resulting in injury

Our objective is to complete a thorough and impartial investigation with the ultimate goal of learning the truth. Every effort will be expended to satisfactorily conclude the investigation. This includes referring the complainant to an outside agency, such as the Prosecuting Attorney's Office, where necessary.

After reviewing all the facts, the Sheriff makes the final decision on the validity of the complaint and the discipline to be administered. The possible discipline ranges from verbal reprimand to dismissal. If the officer's conduct was criminal in nature, the matter is referred to the Prosecuting Attorney's Office.

Notification will be made to the reporting party informing them of the results of the internal investigation. If the complaint was made anonymously, notification cannot be made. In internal investigations involving a great amount of time, the Chief Deputy or Sheriff may send a letter explaining the status of the investigation.

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