[HISTORY: Adopted by the City Council of the City of Harrisburg by Ord. No. 27-1987; amended in its entirety 5-24-2016 by Ord. No. 9-2016. Subsequent amendments noted where applicable.]
Civil Service: see 3rd Class Code, § 4401 et seq. (11 Pa. C.S.A. § 14401 et seq.).
In order to ensure full and fair investigation of citizens' complaints against police officers and to create a system for formally recording and accounting for such investigations, any and all complaints will henceforth be initiated by the filing of a formal sworn complaint which shall contain the following information:
Name of complainant.
Name and/or description of the officer alleged to have committed the improper act(s) complained of to the best of the complainant's knowledge.
Date and approximate time of incident.
Description of act(s) complained of in sufficient detail so as to permit a reasonable investigation.
Address and telephone number, if available, of complainant.
Name(s), address(es) and telephone number(s) of eyewitnesses to support allegations of complaint.
A citizen who makes a complaint against a police officer but fails to file a formal complaint in connection therewith shall be informed by Internal Affairs or the Chief of Police's designee that all citizens are afforded the right to have allegations against police officers officially investigated by way of filing a formal sworn complaint.
The complaint shall be made on a form to be provided by the Chief of Police; one copy shall be retained by the complainant, one copy shall be provided immediately to the Chief of Police, and one copy shall be forwarded to the police officer under investigation, who, consistent with the prevailing collective bargaining agreement between the City and Fraternal Order of Police, Capital City Lodge No. 12, may be required to draft a formal response to such charges as alleged.
The complaint shall be sworn and attested to in the same manner as a criminal complaint and shall be given an identifying code number so that it may be referred to and/or tracked throughout all phases of investigation and/or disposition.
Forms for citizen complaints shall be made available at the office of the Chief of Police, by way of electronic mail, first-class United States Postal Service, City staff located at the atrium reception areas, and on the City's website. A request for the complaint form can be made by calling 311 within the City limits, by calling the City's nonemergency number at 717-255-3040, by visiting the reception area in the atrium of City Hall, or by visiting the office of the Chief of Police.
All complaints shall be fully investigated by the Internal Affairs Unit or by the Chief of Police's designee. Upon completion of the investigation, the Internal Affairs Unit or the assigned designee shall issue a formal report which shall include a summary of the facts gathered and a recommendation for disposition of the complaint. Such recommendation for disposition shall be expressed in the following manner:
The formal report shall be forwarded to and reviewed by the Chief of Police, who shall thereafter determine, among other things, whether or not disciplinary action is warranted. If discipline is to be imposed upon the police officer, the Chief of Police shall fix such penalty consistent with existing schedules and procedures and the civil service provisions of the Third Class City Code.
The Chief of Police shall provide written notification to the complainant of the final disposition of the complaint. Those categories of recommended disposition enumerated in this section as applicable to the formal report shall likewise be applicable to the Chief of Police's written notification of final disposition to the complainant. Said notification shall further include a provision that the complainant has the opportunity to review the outcome of the investigation with designated police personnel or a mutually agreed upon third party.
Under the supervision of the Chief of Police, the Internal Affairs Unit or Chief of Police's designee shall compile a quarterly report to be presented to City Council summarizing the total number of citizens' complaints filed during the preceding quarter. The report will also indicate the particulars of the complaints, including but not limited to race of complainant, type of alleged misconduct and disposition of complaint. The quarterly report shall be compiled in such a manner so as to ensure against and protect from disclosure any and all information which may, by its nature, be confidential or otherwise privileged.