Citizen Complaint

The Mill Valley Police Department encourages and fosters respect, confidence, and support of the community in order to effectively discharge its duties and responsibilities. In providing these services, police officers must exercise their best judgment and initiate action in a responsible, lawful, and impartial manner. The Police Department must carry out its duties and seek out, accept, and carefully consider any and all expressions of concerns by the citizens who come in contact with department personnel. The Mill Valley Police Department has a duty to provide a system for receiving evaluating, and investigating complaints, and to take corrective measures when appropriate.

Complaints against department personnel will be handled in a prompt and unbiased manner. It is the policy of this department to ensure that the community can report misconduct without concern for reprisal or retaliation. Upon completion of a thorough investigation, the complainant will be notified of the findings in writing. All completed investigations are sent to the Chief of Police who received the complaint and makes a final decision

If, after being notified of the results of the investigation, you are not satisfied, the matter may be appealed to the City Manager. You also have a right to make a complaint with the Marin County District Attorney's Office, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), or the Marin County Human Rights Commission.

5-Year Personnel Complaint Log

The Mill Valley Police Department takes seriously all complaints regarding the service provided by the Department and the conduct of its members.

Personnel complaints include any allegation of misconduct or improper job performance that, if true, would constitute a violation of department policy or of federal, state, or local law, policy, or rule. Personnel complaints may be generated internally or by the public. Inquiries about conduct or performance that, if true, would not violate department policy or federal, state, or local law, policy, or rule may be handled informally by a supervisor and shall not be considered a personnel complaint. Such inquiries generally include clarification regarding policy, procedures, or the response to specific incidents by the Department.

All complaints will be courteously accepted by any department member and promptly given to the appropriate supervisor. Although written complaints are preferred, a complaint may also be filed orally, either in person or by telephone. Such complaints will be directed to a supervisor. If a supervisor is not immediately available to take an oral complaint, the receiving member shall obtain contact information sufficient for the supervisor to contact the complainant. The supervisor, upon contact with the complainant, shall complete and submit a complaint form as appropriate.

Personnel complaint forms can be found in the Mill Valley Police Department front lobby, Mill Valley Police Department's website, and Mill Valley City Hall.

Personnel complaint forms in languages other than English may also be provided, as determined necessary or practicable.

Although not required, complainants should be encouraged to file complaints in person so that proper identification, signatures, photographs, or physical evidence may be obtained as necessary. A complainant shall be provided with a copy of his/her statement at the time it is filed with the Department (Penal Code § 832.7).

Upon conclusion, each personnel complaint shall be classified with one of the following dispositions:

  • Unfounded - When the investigation discloses that the alleged acts did not occur or did not involve department members. Complaints that are determined to be frivolous will fall within the classification of unfounded (Penal Code § 832.8).
  • Exonerated - When the investigation discloses that the alleged act occurred but that the act was justified, lawful, and/or proper.
  • Not sustained - When the investigation discloses that there is insufficient evidence to sustain the complaint or fully exonerate the member.
  • Sustained - A final determination by an investigating agency, commission, board, hearing officer, or arbitrator, as applicable, following an investigation and opportunity for an administrative appeal pursuant to Government Code § 3304 and Government Code § 3304.5 that the actions of an officer were found to violate the law or department policy (Penal Code § 832.8).

Commendations

If you would like to commend an employee of the Mill Valley Police Department for his/her actions, please write a letter or complete the form below. Once the commendation is received it will be forwarded to the employee's supervisor. Please detail the actions performed by the employee(s) that you thought were exceptional. If you do not know the employee's name please provide as much information as you can (officer's badge number, the incident date, location, time, car number, etc.). Although officers do not expect to be thanked for everything they do, recognition for exceptional service is always appreciated. This kind of feedback lets us know we are doing a good job.

Please fill out the Commendation Form and complete it with as much detail as possible. When you are done please send it to Captain Lindsay Haynes or Lieutenant Jacqueline Graf-Reis.