Internal Affairs - Citizen's Complaint
The Internal Affairs Unit is responsible for conducting or overseeing the investigation of all complaints of misconduct brought against any member of the Winter Springs Police Department and reviewing all applications of defensive action by police officers. The Winter Springs Police Department understands that a thorough and unbiased investigation into any allegations of misconduct ensures the integrity of the Department and inspires confidence from the community that we serve. Department procedures define two types of complaints against its members: informal and formal.
Informal complaints are minor and are usually disagreements or misunderstandings about procedural issues. Most complaints against the members of the Department can be resolved using an informal investigative process when the member's immediate supervisor handles these issues. During an informal complaint investigation, the supervisor meets or speaks with the complaining party, the accused member, and then determines the appropriate action to take to resolve the complaint.
Formal complaints are generated directly from an individual or those made anonymously. The formal complaint packet is forwarded to the Internal Affairs investigator for initial review. Depending on the nature of the complaint, the Internal Affairs Unit may turn the investigation over to the member's supervisor or upon the direction of the Chief of Police, conduct the investigation themselves. Once the investigation is completed, the results of the investigation, along with any recommendations, are forwarded to the Chief of Police. Depending upon the complexity of the investigation, the process can take some time and the complainant will be notified by the Chief of Police of the disposition of the complaint in writing.
Classifications for the disposition of complaints is as follows:
UNFOUNDED: The investigation conclusively shows that the allegations made by the complainant did not occur.
EXONERATED: The investigation showed that the allegations occurred but that the complained of behavior, conduct, or actions were proper and reasonable.
NOT SUSTAINED: The investigation failed to disclose sufficient evidence to prove the allegation(s) made by the complainant.
SUSTAINED: The investigation disclosed sufficient evidence to prove the allegation(s) made by the complainant.
POLICY FAILURE: The allegation is true but the investigation reveals policy or procedural changes are necessary.
OTHER: The evidence supports a sustained violation for some other matter discovered during the investigation. The Internal Affairs Unit also investigates Use of Force complaints and the discharge of a firearm by a member.
You can reach the Internal Affairs Unit by calling (407) 327-1000.