The Metropolitan Police Department remains committed to upholding our core values of Service, Integrity, Leadership and Fair Treatment to all. It is our hope that each employee does his or her best to assist the citizens of St. Louis when they require police attention. If you feel an employee has acted improperly, we encourage you to file a complaint with the Internal Affairs Division. If it is determined the employee indeed behaved improperly; appropriate action, ranging from an oral reprimand to discharge from the Department, will be taken. Our complaint and disciplinary procedures are designed to provide prompt and fair service to the people of St. Louis. Below you’ll find additional information about the process of filing a complaint against a member of the Department.
How to make a complaint against a Metropolitan Police Department employee: Complaints can be made in writing, via telephone, through the use of the online form on this page or in person at Police Headquarters or a District Station. Location information is listed to the right. Whenever possible, citizens are encouraged to visit the Internal Affairs Division in person to register a complaint.
We want you to understand how the complaint process works.
What happens after a complaint has been filed?
-All citizen complaints are referred to the Internal Affairs Division.
-An “Allegation of Employee Misconduct” report is completed.
-A letter of acknowledgement of receipt of complaint is sent by Internal Affairs to Complainant.
-The Internal Affairs Division investigates all complaints; however, if minor in nature, complaint may be assigned to other bureau commanders for investigation. All complaints are coordinated and processed by the Internal Affairs Division.
-The Complainant (the person(s) making the complaint) is interviewed. He/she is offered transportation if needed. Medical attention is offered if necessary.
-All facts pertinent to the incident are compiled.
-The investigator prepares a complete report after investigation. Internal Affairs reviews
investigation reports prepared by other bureaus.
-Anyone may submit relevant evidence during investigation.
-The completed investigation with recommendation is forwarded to the Bureau of Professional Standards and the Chief of Police.
Upon conclusion of the investigation, complaints will receive one of the following dispositions:
Explanation: Investigation disclosed sufficient evidence to support the allegations in
the complaint. Offending employee is subject to disciplinary punishment ranging from
reinstruction to charges before Board of Police Commissioners. If criminal in case, it is presented to proper prosecuting authorities.
Not Sustained -
Explanation: Insufficient evidence available to either prove or disprove the allegations
in the complaint. The employee is considered innocent until proven guilty.
Explanation: The complaint was not based on facts, as shown by the investigation,
or the incident complained of did not occur.
Explanation: The action complained of did occur, but the investigation disclosed that the
actions were reasonable, lawful and proper.
-If a complaint is classified “sustained,” recommendations for discipline are forwarded with
-When the Police Chief has formulated his recommendation, but prior to forwarding to Board of Police Commissioners, the Bureau of Professional Standards, in writing, notifies the
Department member and citizen of the proposed recommendation.
-If neither party objects, the Chief presents the report and recommendations to the Board
for final review and approval. The Board can take action it deems necessary.
-If the proposed recommendation is that the complaint be classified “exonerated,” “unfounded” or
“not sustained,” the complainant may within 20 days make objections in writing or in
person at the Internal Affairs Division.
-If the complainant remains unsatisfied, he/she may request further investigation by filing an
appeal in writing on a form furnished by the Department. Any additional facts not
previously submitted or not considered by the investigating unit should be added in the appeal.
-When an appeal is filed, the Secretary to the Board of Police Commissioners shall then
determine whether the complainant has presented sufficient evidence not previously
considered in the investigation or has shown that the complaint was not properly investigated.
-Should the Secretary determine that evidence necessary to prepare a complete and
accurate report was not known or considered by the investigating unit or that the
complaint was improperly conducted, then Internal Affairs will reinvestigate the complainant’s charges in light of the new evidence or inadequate report.
-If the Secretary determines there is no need for further investigation, the complainant
shall be notified.
Filing a complaint with the Internal Affairs Division in no way replaces any legal action you might wish to initiate.
If the investigation reveals the complaint was made maliciously, in bad faith, or with knowledge that the accusation was false, steps shall be taken, whenever possible, to prosecute the complainant for making a false report of a law violation.