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Officer Conduct

Internal Affairs Division
At the Cochran Police Department, we encourage the filing of legitimate complaints against the agency or its employees as a means by which they can be held accountable for their actions to the public. The Department also seeks to hold members of the public responsible for filing false and malicious allegations against police personnel.

The Internal Affairs Unit receives its authority directly from the Chief of Police to investigate allegations of police misconduct with the overall objective of protecting the public, the Department, and the officers. The unit conducts the routine business of this office between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. Monday through Friday and responds on a "call-out" basis as the need arises outside normal business hours. Phone: 478.934.4282

The Cochran Police Department will not hesitate to impose disciplinary actions on employees who violate the law or standards of professional law enforcement conduct, to remove from employment those employees who prove to be unfit for the profession of law enforcement, or to dismiss unjustified allegations against innocent employees. All complaints are maintained and tracked within the unit.

Complaints are closed in one of four different ways:
Sustained – The complaint was found to be true.
Not Sustained – There was not enough information to prove or disprove the complaint.
Unfounded – The complaint was not found to be true
Exonerated – The officer did commit the act that he was accused of, however, his actions were justified by the situation.

Other cases are listed as No Action Taken. This means that the case has not been closed due to the fact that the complainant has not followed through with the complaint.

 

FILING YOUR COMPLAINT
Complaints will be accepted from any source, whether made in person, by telephone, by mail, by e-mail or anonymously. Individuals are encouraged to submit their complaints in person in order to obtain a complete and accurate report as soon as possible of the incident. 

Complaints will be accepted from juveniles and persons under arrest in police custody so long as the complaint contains sufficient factual information to warrant an investigation.

 

FIELD INVESTIGATION OR INTERNAL AFFAIRS INVESTIGATION
Complaints alleging major violations or actions of a serious nature will be handled by the Internal Affairs Unit for investigation. Major violations include, but are not limited to, the following: brutality or any allegation of unnecessary or excessive use of force; Civil Right s (Title VII) violations (use of abusive or insulting language or conduct degrading a person’s race, religion, life style, sex, national origin, or any other act or omission which could be the basis for loss of rank, termination or prosecution in any court of law); criminal violation (a violation of a Federal, State, County or Municipal statute or ordinance defining unlawful behavior or acts); any other reason deemed necessary by the Chief of Police. Complaints concerning attitude, language, response to calls, handling of calls, harassment, demeanor and minor rule infractions will be investigated by the employee’s supervisor.

 

INVESTIGATIVE STANDARDS
All internal affairs investigations will be completed within sixty (60) days of initiation unless extenuating circumstances exist. The investigator assigned to an Internal Affairs complaint will acknowledge receipt of that complaint by communicating directly with the complainant either by correspondence, telephone, or in person. If the investigation extends beyond sixty (60) days, the investigator will inform the complainant of the cases progress. When the case is closed the investigator will notify the complainant in writing and inform them that appropriate administrative action has been taken.

 

CONCLUSION OF FACT
Each investigator, whether internal affairs investigator or field supervisor, shall consider all relevant documents, testimony and evidence in order to determine what actually happened. At the end of the report, the investigator shall state a conclusion of fact for each allegation of misconduct.

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