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PERSONNEL Complaint Procedure


The Sacramento Police Department's complaint procedure is outlined in our Internal Investigation Manual (RM 220.01). This procedure is intended to help you, the community, and the police as well.  A positive relationship between the police and the public they serve, fostered by confidence and trust, are essential to effective law enforcement.  While the police are charged with vigorous enforcement of the law, they must meticulously observe the rights of all people.  Police personnel, at the same time, must be free to take action in a reasonable, lawful, and impartial manner without fear of reprisal.

It is important, therefore, that adequate provisions be made for the prompt receipt, investigation and disposition of complaints regarding the conduct of Department personnel.  To this end, the Sacramento Police Department welcomes feedback of the department and valid complaints against its members or procedures.  The purpose of the Internal Affairs Division is to ensure complete, fair and impartial investigations of citizen complaints.

Investigation Procedure

The person receiving your concern will ask you to provide as much information as possible regarding the incident.  If you were involved in or witnessed the incident, an extremely important part of the investigation is to obtain a statement from you. 

When an investigation occurs, each allegation is examined on its own merits.  These investigations may require investigators to contact all available witnesses, including police officers, examine any relevant physical evidence, review video, and gather all information pertinent to each allegation made in the complaint.  The Chief of Police or designee will render a finding in each case.  There are four possible 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, the 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.

At the conclusion of an investigation, you will be notified of the disposition of the complaint in writing or via email.  The type of corrective action imposed is subject to the provisions of the Charter of the City of Sacramento, the rules of the Civil Service Board and, when appropriate, upon approval of the City Manager.  Discipline may include counseling, training, and action up to and including termination.  If your complaint is sustained and punitive discipline is imposed, the employee has appeal rights.  Therefore, you may be required to testify at one or more administrative proceedings.



Your valid concerns and feedback help us protect the community from possible misconduct by employees.  At the same time, a thorough and impartial investigation procedure helps protect employees from unwarranted charges when they perform their duties properly.

California Penal Code Section 148.6 articulates your rights to make a complaint, and our responsibility to maintain records of complaints.

In summary, your rights and our responsibilities per CPC Section 148.6 are as follows:

“You have the right to make a complaint against an employee for improper conduct. California law requires this agency to have a procedure to investigate personnel complaint, provide written description of this procedure, and retain complaints for at least five years.”

How to Make a Complaint

The process for submitting a complaint to the Internal Affairs Division is explained in detail in the Citizen Complaint Procedure Brochure (SPD 745). Complaints can be submitted to our Internal Affairs Divisions in the following ways:

  1. Online Complaint Form (also available in Spanish)

  2. Call the Internal Affairs at: (916) 808-2290

  3. Send an email to:

  4. Send a letter to: Sacramento Police Department
    Internal Affairs Division
    5760 Freeport Blvd.
    Sacramento, CA  95822

  5.  Contact the Office of Public Safety Accountability

  6. To avoid unnecessary in-person contact in accordance with the City of Sacramento's Covid-19 preventative protocols, our Internal Affairs Division is currently closed to walk-in complainants. This webpage will be updated once our offices resume walk-in services.

 Any complaint against a Sacramento Police Department employee should include as much information as possible, including:

  1. Your name, address (home and business), and phone numbers where we can call you

  2. Your date of birth, age, sex, and race

  3. Date and time of the event that you are filing a complaint about

  4. Name and badge number of the Police Department employee(s) involved, if you have them

  5. Vehicle number of the police vehicle involved, if you have it

  6. Description of the event; please give us as much detail as possible.

  7. The names, addresses and phone numbers of any witnesses to what happened