The Chester Police Department is committed to serving all people with respect, fairness, and compassion. The department makes every effort to protect the rights of all citizens and our employees by working hard to ensure that we carry out the police mission in a balanced manner. To demonstrate and protect this department's integrity, the Chester Police Department will accept and investigate fairly and impartially all complaints of employee misconduct to determine the validity of allegations.
What If I Want To Compliment An Employee?
When you have the occasion to see an employee doing an outstanding job, we would like to hear from you. This can be accomplished by contacting the supervisor on duty, either in person or by phone, writing a letter to the Chief of Police or by e-mail here on the Chester Police Department website.
After an initial complaint is made, a member of the command staff will be assigned to investigate. Internal investigations typically fit into two categories: Informal Investigations and Formal Investigations. Informal investigations are typically investigated by a supervisor and involve issues such as:
- Ineffective/Incomplete Service
- Unfair Or Improper Discharge Of Duty
More serious allegations will be handled by a senior member of the command staff as assigned by the Chief of Police. These formal investigations involve issues such as:
- Criminal Conduct
- Excessive Use Of Force
- Violation Of Civil Rights
If the circumstances dictate, the Chester Police Department may refer an internal investigation to an outside agency.
Final Report Of Investigation
Upon completion of any "formal" investigation a final report will be presented to the Chief of Police. Based upon a review of the investigation and the recommendation of the investigating officer, the Chief of Police will enter one of the following findings:
- Sustained: The allegation is substantiated.
- Unfounded: The allegation is false, or not factual.
- Exonerated: The incident occurred, but the officer acted lawfully and properly.
- Not sustained: The allegation is not substantiated. There is not sufficient evidence to prove or disprove the allegation.
- Misconduct Not Based On Complaint-Sustained: Substantiated misconduct, not alleged in the complaint, but disclosed by the investigation.
When an investigation substantiates a complaint of misconduct or wrong doing, the department will take action ranging from counseling through removal.
How To File A Complaint
Anyone wishing to file a complaint or make an inquiry with the Chester Police Department can do so by contacting the Department via telephone or by speaking directly to the supervisor on duty. We recommend that you ask for the officer in charge when making contact.
On some occasions, such a misunderstanding of a policy or procedure, a complaint can be resolved by the supervisor during the initial contact. Nonetheless, each complaint is documented even if it is resolved at this initial level.
If a resolution at the supervisor level is not possible or the complaint is of a serious nature, a complaint may be filed using the Citizen Complaint Form available from the on-duty supervisor or on the city's website 24 hours a day. In the event a personal appearance is not possible and you do not have access to internet, a complaint can be located in the police department lobby or sent to you in the mail.
Time Frame & Notification
The scope of investigation and the seriousness of the allegation are the determining factors in how long an investigation will take. The police department will make every effort to keep the complaining party informed as to the progress of the investigation. When appropriate those filing a complaint with the department will be notified of the findings of the investigation. They will likely not be informed of any disciplinary action taken.
The Chester Police Department recognizes the need for the filing of legitimate complaints against officers as a means by which we can be held accountable to the public; however, the department will also seek to hold members of the community responsible for the filing of false allegations against the police. In keeping with State Law (50 ILCS 725/3.8) "anyone filing a complaint against a sworn peace officer must have the complaint supported by a sworn affidavit".
For more information telephone 618-826-5454