It is the policy of the Upper Merion Township Police Department to investigate all complaints against employees of the department, and the department itself, through a regulated, fair and impartial internal investigation regardless of the source of the complaint. Investigation of these complaints through standardized procedures will demonstrate the department’s desire to provide honest, efficient police service and will inspire public confidence in its personnel. A regulated program of complaint review will also ensure the fair and impartial treatment of all department personnel who become the subject of an internal investigation.
The Upper Merion Police Department encourages all employees to attempt to resolve any concern or complaint brought to their attention. In many instances, the matter can be resolved to the satisfaction of the complainant, by the employee taking the complaint. However, there is a very small portion of complaints that rise to the level of an official formal written complaint. These complaints are thoroughly investigated to determine if there has been a violation of department policy or procedure. If there is a possibility of a criminal violation, the Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office would be requested to handle the criminal aspect of the investigation, while the department investigates any possible administrative violations.
Official complaints are acknowledged in writing and investigated by a member of the Police Department command staff. The outcome of the internal investigation, and any recommendation on discipline, is then forwarded to the Chief of Police. Complaint dispositions are as follows:
- Sustained: The evidence was sufficient to prove the allegations.
- Not sustained: The evidence was insufficient to either prove or disprove the allegations.
- Exonerated: The incident occurred but was lawful or proper.
- Unfounded: The allegation was false or not factual.
- Policy Failure: Although the action of department or the employee was consistent with department policy, the complainant suffered a harm.
The complainant is notified in writing of the outcome at the conclusion of all formal complaints.