It is the policy of the Kenosha Police Department to accept, investigate and resolve complaints by any persons regarding the conduct of law enforcement officers employed by the Kenosha Police Department. A complaint means that someone is dissatisfied with our service. If we are doing something wrong, the complaint will help the department recognize and correct deficiencies in our service to the community. It is the intent of the Kenosha Police Department to provide its residents and all others that we serve with only the highest quality law enforcement services.
How do I initiate a complaint against an officer?
The preferred method is for you to come to the Kenosha Police Department and ask to speak with a supervisor. Once you meet with a supervisor, you should express your concerns to him/her. A complaint may also be initiated by telephone or by letter. Complaints can be filed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
If I’m under 18 years old, do I have a right to file a complaint?
Yes. You must have a parent, legal guardian or responsible adult present with you.
How will my complaint be resolved?
Much of it is up to you. Your complaint may be resolved informally or formally. An informal complaint will normally be handled and resolved immediately with the officer's shift supervisor speaking with the officer and expressing your concerns to him/her. A formal complaint will require that you give your name and sign a Citizen Complaint Form. Subsequently, an investigation will take place.
Will the officer know that I have made a complaint?
Yes. Through the course of the investigation, the officer will be advised of the allegation made against him/her and the identity of the person making the allegation.
Need I be concerned about possible retaliation for making a complaint against an officer?
Absolutely not! It is essential that public confidence be maintained which enhances the ability of the department to investigate and resolve any complaint against its members. You will be provided a departmental liaison. If at anytime you have additional concerns, you should contact that liaison.
What will happen to the officer?
If the investigation shows misconduct, the officer will be disciplined according to the seriousness of the violation. Disciplinary actions may range from a reprimand to suspension, or in extreme cases, termination. If the allegation is criminal in nature, the case will be referred for prosecution. Other appropriate remedies may include policy change and retraining.
Who is responsible for investigating the complaint?
The Chief of Police will determine who will investigate the complaint. The actual investigative work may be conducted by a police supervisor or an internal affairs investigator. The department may also
utilize other agencies to investigate criminal allegations against an officer.
How long will the investigation take?
The investigation of a formal complaint will be completed as soon as possible. However, much depends on the depth of the investigation and/or the availability of all involved individuals.
Will I be notified of the results of the investigation?
Yes. Once the investigation has been concluded, you will be informed of the disposition of your complaint. The notification will normally be in the form of a letter.
What if I’m not satisfied with the result of the department's investigation?
You may request a meeting with the Chief of Police or file charges with the Police and Fire Commission.
Must I file my complaint directly with the Kenosha Police Department?
You have an alternative. Wisconsin statutes provide you with an alternative to file your complaint directly with the Board of Police and Fire Commissioners. Formal charges can be filed if you believe that you are an aggrieved person. Formal charges must be in writing and must be sufficiently detailed so that all parties understand the conduct involved as well as the specific rules, regulations or standards of conduct you believe the police officer has violated. The formal charges shall be filed with the Chairperson of the Board of Police and Fire Commissioners. The rules for any subsequent investigation and resolution of those charges are set by the board. False Accusations: Wisconsin State Statute 946.66 states, “Whoever knowingly makes a false complaint regarding the conduct of a Law Enforcement Officer is subject to a Class “A” forfeiture (Arrest). The statute has been adopted by the City of Kenosha, Code of General Ordinances, Section 11.02(Q). It is important to note that making a statement which you know to be untrue may subject you to criminal charges and/or a civil lawsuit.
If you have any questions or would like further information or assistance in filing a complaint, please contact the on-duty shift supervisor at: (262) 605-5210
If you send a letter, send it to the attention of:
Office of the Chief of Police
Attn: Internal Affairs Unit
Kenosha Police Department
1000 - 55th Street
Kenosha, WI 53140