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How to File A Complaint

It is the policy of the Columbus Police Department to foster confidence from the citizens of Columbus and maintain high professional standards. Our Department investigates all complaints against both sworn and civilian employees. Any investigation or hearing arising from a complaint will be fairly conducted with truth as the primary objective.

Steps to Register a Complaint

  1. Obtain the name of the officer(s) involved in the incident.
  2. Contact 911 and ask for that officer's supervisor. If that officer's supervisor is unavailable, the complaint maybe registered with any police supervisor.
  3. Citizens may contact the office of the Chief of Police directly, if they desire to do so, by calling (706) 653-3100.
  4. Complaints may also be registered in writing, as well as, anonymously. However, anonymous complaints are difficult to investigate. Click here for a Complaint form. Mail your complaint to the address found on the last page of the Complaint form.
  5. Information pertaining to the incident, including any witnesses' names, should be given to the Police Department representative at the time of the complaint.
  6. All incidents will be investigated thoroughly and citizens will be notified of all appropriate information relevant to the complaint at the conclusion of the investigation.
Complaint Outcome Classifications

After the complaint has been thoroughly investigated, the file will be submitted to the Chief of Police for review. All investigations of Departmental employees accused of misconduct will conclude with one of the following classifications being assigned to the complaint:

  • SUSTAINED - The investigation's findings reveal sufficient evidence to prove the allegations.
  • NOT SUSTAINED - The investigation's findings reveal insufficient evidence to clearly prove or disprove the complaint.
  • EXONERATED - The investigation's findings reveal the acts did occur but were justified, lawful and proper.
  • UNFOUNDED - The investigation's findings reveal that the acts in the complaint did not occur or did not involve Departmental employees
  • POLICY FAILURE - The investigation revealed the acts in the complaint did occur but were based on existing policy. Responsibility for the acts resides within Departmental policy and not the employee.
  • ADMINISTRATIVE INVESTIGATION - The complainant failed to cooperate with the investigation and there is insufficient evidence to draw a conclusion and apply a finding.

The complainant will be advised of the outcome of the investigation. Any discipline as a result of a complaint may include the following: counseling, oral reprimand, remedial training, written reprimand, disciplinary probation, suspension without pay, and demotion or dismissal. Disciplinary actions are personnel matters and are not normally publicly disclosed.

For more information, contact the Chief of Police (706) 653-3100 or write us at the following address:

Chief of Police
510 Tenth Street
P.O. Box 1866
Columbus, Georgia 31902-1866