Accessibility mode is enabled

Skip to Top / Tab to View Menu Options
Skip to Left Navigation / Tab to View Content

Public safety Complaint Process

As a community member of Sacramento you are entitled to file a complaint against any employee of the Sacramento Police Department (SPD) or Sacramento Fire Department (SFD). A complaint may be made by the person involved, or by a friend, family member or other third party who has knowledge of the incident.

OPSA must receive a complaint within one (1) year from the date of the incident upon which the complaint is based.

Information Required to file complaint

The following will be helpful; however, if you do not have all of this information, you may still file a complaint:

  • Date, time and location of the incident.
  • Employee’s name and badge number.
  • The names, addresses and phone numbers of any witnesses

Ways to file

A complaint may be made:
  • using our online complaint form

  • by phone at (916) 808-7525

  • in person at the OPSA office:
    915 I Street, Historic City Hall 3rd Floor
    Sacramento, CA 95814

What happens next?

When a complaint is received by the OPSA, it is reviewed by the Director, and then forwarded to the Internal Affairs Division (IA) of the SPD or SFD for a preliminary investigation. IA reviews and categorizes a case and forwards a recommendation to the Police Chief and Fire Chief.

At this point, the Chief of Police or Fire Chief may render a final disposition or send the case back to IA for a formal investigation. During this process, the OPSA may monitor and investigate at any stage and make recommendations when necessary. These recommendations may include additional investigation or re-interviewing involved persons.

The OPSA also reviews completed formal investigations for the final disposition as recommended by the Police Chief or Fire Chief.

IA from either the SPD or SFD notifies the complainant(s) of the case disposition(s). Throughout this process the OPSA is available to the complainant to provide information and answer questions excluding disclosure of any confidential or legally protected information.


Misconduct Complaint Allegations:



Formal Investigation Findings:

Sustained: The investigation disclosed enough evidence to clearly prove the allegation.

Not Sustained: The investigation failed to reveal enough evidence to clearly prove or disprove the allegation.

Exonerated: The act which provided the basis for the complaint did occur; however, investigation revealed the act was justified, lawful and proper.

Unfounded: The investigation has produced sufficient evidence to prove that the act or acts alleged did not occur. This finding shall also apply when individual personnel named in the complaint were not involved in an act that did occur.