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ACCPD takes all complaints of police misconduct seriously. Depending on the nature of the allegations, the investigation may be assigned to a unit-level supervisor or commander, or it may be assigned to the Office of Professional Standards. If the allegations are criminal in nature, then the case will be referred to the appropriate authority for a criminal investigation as well. The investigator may contact you for additional information about your complaint. Once the investigation is complete, the information and evidence will be analyzed to determine whether or not any policy violations occurred. You will receive notice concerning the final disposition of the case. Any appropriate corrective actions will be implemented. This process generally takes about 30-45 days for a standard complaint investigation.
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ACCPD encourages anyone with information about police misconduct to report it as soon as possible. We accept all complaints in any form, even anonymous complaints. Please take the time to review our current Complaints and Discipline Policy for more information. To make a complaint, please contact our Office of Professional Standards, complete our Online Complaint Form, or mail the complaint to the Athens-Clarke County Police Department, Office of Professional Standards, 3035 Lexington Road, Athens, Georgia, 30605. You may also request to speak to any on-duty supervisor by calling 706-613-3345 or through the Athens-Clarke County Human Resources Office.
We encourage our officers to be innovative and take reasonable risks in their policing activities. However, we recognize that humans will make mistakes, and we distinguish between honest mistakes of the head and mistakes of the heart. That is why ACCPD and the ACC Unified Government believe in a system of progressive disciplinary action. When appropriate, we rely on coaching, counseling, and training before jumping directly to disciplinary action. However, when discipline is necessary and appropriate, it is administered proportionally and with gradually increasing severity for each instance of sustained misconduct. Though some more serious cases of sustained misconduct warrant higher levels of disciplinary action immediately, up to and including termination, the goal is to positively change officers’ behavior or performance before it can escalate. Additionally, not all allegations of misconduct are ultimately sustained. Officers are not disciplined when thorough investigation proves that allegations of misconduct are unfounded, not sustained, or the officer’s actions were within policy.