Complaints and Recognitions
The goal of the Gig Harbor Police Department is to provide the community with a professional public service organization that effectively and uniformly enforces federal, state and local laws, and provides citizens assistance and proactive programs. Our officers are sworn to protect the rights of all citizens regardless of race, age, gender, nationality, religion, or political preference. The Gig Harbor Police Department is committed to maintaining a positive relationship with the community and to correcting any possible adverse actions, practices, or attitudes that may contribute to community tensions and grievances. If you feel that an employee of this department has acted in an abusive or unprofessional manner, you are encouraged to report that employee to a police supervisor.
Recognizing Superior Performance:
Commendations received by the Chief of Police for any Gig Harbor Police Department employee will result in advising the employee of your compliment and in permanently recording his/her actions and you appreciation in the employee’s personnel file. If you wish to commend the actions of any Gig Harbor Police Department employee, you can:
- speak to the employee’s supervisor and verbally communicate your praise,
- write a letter to the Chief of Police explaining your praise, or
- fill out and return a Citizens Complaint and Employee Recognition Form
Citizen Complaint Procedure | Our Policy
It is the policy of the Gig Harbor Police Department to investigate all complaints against the department or its employees. This ensures the integrity of the department while protecting the rights and interests of both citizens and department employees.
The department will take complaints in any form, and complaints may be made anonymously. You can also fill out a Citizens Complaint and Employee Recognition Form and return it to the Police Department. The following is a brief synopsis of what you may expect to happen.
- A police supervisor will interview you about your complaint. The supervisor will ask you about what happened. It is possible that the supervisor may be able to explain the employee’s action(s) to your satisfaction.
- Normally you will be interviewed at the Gig Harbor Police Department. You may expect to be audio or videotaped during the interview.
- The supervisor will ask you for the names of all witnesses and other police department employees that may know facts about your complaint. It is important to have as much information as possible.
- Evidence processing may take place as related to your complaint.
- After the interview, the police department will investigate your complaint. Investigators will be supervisors of the employee or an investigator.
- All involved employees will be interviewed and witnesses whom you’ve named will be contacted. You may also be asked for more information.
- Although it is impossible to estimate how long the investigation will take, a normal investigation should take no more than 30 days to complete. If you have any questions you may contact our Chief of Police at (253) 853-2420.
- Upon completion, those within the employee’s chain of command will review the investigation.
- Depending on the severity of the complaint and findings, either the employee’s supervisor or the chief of police shall render an appropriate disposition.
After a thorough investigation of the complaint, the supervisor or Chief of Police will promptly notify you in writing of the disposition and whether disciplinary action will be taken. The results of the competed investigation will be classified into one of the four categories below:
- Sustained -- Your complaint has been supported. The employee(s) involved acted improperly and may be disciplined.
- Unfounded -- The investigation revealed no basis to the complaint.
Exonerated -- The employee(s) involved acted properly and will not be disciplined.
- Not Sustained -- There was not enough evidence to prove your complaint true of false, so no further action will be taken.
YOUR RIGHTS AFTER THE DISPOSITION
- The police department will not condone, and will take disciplinary action against those employees who cause harassment, tacit or otherwise, of complainants, witnesses, or any other person connected to any internal investigation.
- Notify the Gig Harbor Police Department immediately if you suspect violation of any of the above.
- You may ask about the status of your complaint at any time by calling the police department administration office at (253) 853-2420.
RESPONSIBILITY -- YOURS AND OURS
The Gig Harbor Police Department views all citizen complaints against its employees very seriously and actively pursues investigation into misconduct. For this reason, you must ensure that your complaint is based on fact and you have provided us with all of the facts to the best of your ability. If you intentionally make a false report to this department, you should know that making a false report could result in criminal and/or civil legal proceedings being filed against you.