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Office of Professional Standards - Citizen Complaints & Commendations

How Complaints are Investigated

All complaints are investigated. Complainants will be interviewed in person or over the telephone.  Serious complaints, such as allegations of criminal conduct or excessive use of force, are investigated by the Internal Affairs Unit. Less serious matters will normally be investigated by the employee’s immediate supervisor.

The following steps are taken in the investigation of your complaint:

  • Any citizen who believes a Public Safety employee has acted improperly may make a complaint to any on-duty supervisor or directly to the Office of Professional Standards.
  • The complaint is received, generally in the form of a signed Report of Police Misconduct. This form may be obtained at the Public Safety Building or by contacting the on-duty supervisor who will supply the form upon request.
  • Complaints of a serious nature are assigned to the Internal Affairs Unit . A minor complaint is forwarded to the employee's supervisor.
  • The report is forwarded to the affected employee’s supervisor for review and disciplinary recommendations. The Director of Public Safety reviews the supervisors’ disciplinary recommendations and makes the final determination in serious matters.
  • The employee is informed of the findings and determination of discipline.
  • Findings and disciplinary recommendations are forwarded to the Office of Professional Standards for filing. The results of the investigation are reported as follows: Unfounded; Exonerated; Not Sustained; or Sustained. These results are shared with the complainant, usually in the form of a letter.

The Medical University of South Carolina Department of Public Safety believes that a fair and impartial complaint review process is necessary to ensure that the community receives the highest degree of professional law enforcement. If it becomes necessary to make a complaint, the citizen can be assured of a fair and thorough investigation.


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