Citizen’s Guide to Making Complaints, Inquiries and Commendations
The University of Mississippi Police Department is committed to providing the highest quality of police service to The University community. In order to be responsive to community needs, it is necessary to have citizen input. Your constructive comments about our service, good or bad, will help us to improve and achieve our goals.
Making an Inquiry or Complaint
An inquiry or complaint can be made by letter, telephone, in person or by email. Any University of Mississippi Police Department employee whose duties involve public contact may accept an initial inquiry or complaint against personnel, procedures or policies. If the inquiry or complaint is about personnel, you should contact the supervisor in charge by calling 915-7234. The supervisor will ensure that your inquiry or complaint is directed to the proper authority.
If your inquiry or complaint appears to be based on a misunderstanding or a lack of knowledge of acceptable or desired conduct, procedures, or practices, The University of Mississippi Police employee may offer an explanation. If you are not satisfied with their explanation, you may insist on speaking with the employee’s Supervisor.
Please be prepared to provide the date, time and location of the event; the names of The University of Mississippi Police employees involved (if known); and the name, address and telephone number of any possible witnesses.
Once your inquiry or complaint is received, it will be thoroughly investigated by a person designated by the Chief of Police. The investigation will usually include a review of all applicable reports, policies and procedures, examination of any evidence or medical records, and interviews with all parties and witnesses. A simple inquiry might take only a day to complete, while a complex complaint might take two or three months to investigate and review.
If the Investigator determines that an employee violated department policies or procedures, appropriate corrective action is taken.
The Chief of Police will review the complaint and findings. This review is to assure that the investigation was handled thoroughly and objectively. The Chief’s review will also include looking for ways to improve policies, procedures and training.
You will receive written notification of the Investigator’s findings. There are four possible findings:
- Sustained – The allegation made in the complaint is supported by sufficient evidence.
- Not Sustained – There is insufficient evidence to prove or disproved the allegation made in the complaint.
- Unfounded – The investigation shows that the allegation is false, not factual.
- Exonerated – The investigation shows that the alleged incident did occur, but was justified, lawful and proper under the circumstances.
Questions and Answers
Q: What happens to an employee if he or she is found to have acted improperly?
A: Some instances require disciplinary action such as reprimand, suspension, or even termination. Sometimes training is appropriate. If a crime has been alleged, the County or District Attorney will determine if criminal charges should be filed.
Q: Do I have any guarantee that I will be satisfied?
A: Although we cannot guarantee that you will be satisfied, we do guarantee that your inquiry will be investigated thoroughly. You will be allowed to discuss the results with the Chief of Police or his designee.
Commending Exceptional Performance
The best way to commend the actions of a University of Mississippi Police Department employee is to write a brief letter describing the incident and the actions you think were exceptional. Information such as the date, time and location will help identify the employee if you do not know his or her name. If you choose not to write, you may ask to speak with the individual’s supervisor and make a verbal commendation.
Commendations received by the Chief of Police are forwarded to the employee with a copy placed in his or her personnel file. Although our employees do not expect to be thanked for everything they do, recognition of exceptional service is always appreciated. This kind of feedback helps us to know if we are doing a good job.