The Marion County Sheriff’s Office strives to serve the public to the best of their ability each and every day. Sheriff Bailey and his staff are always working to improve our provided services. In an effort to improve this we urge the public to keep us informed if they feel there is something we can improve on. If there is something you feel the sheriff’s office can improve on, we request that you call the sheriff’s office or come to the sheriff’s office and speak with a supervisor. If after speaking with a supervisor you decide to file a formal complaint the following information will provide you guidelines on the complaint process.

It is a violation of Ohio law to file a false complaint against a law enforcement officer (ORC 2921.15). Any complaint made that is unfounded will result in criminal charges for the individual making the false complaint and any who provide false information supporting the false complaint.

HOW TO FILE A FORMAL COMPLAINT

WHAT IS A CITIZEN COMPLAINT?

A citizen complaint is an allegation from any source, of any action or inaction by sheriff’s office personnel that the individual considers being contrary to law, proper procedure, good order or in some manner prejudicial to the individual, the Office of Sheriff or to the community.

If the only complaint is a contention of innocence of a criminal and/or traffic charge without any allegation of misconduct by a sworn deputy, you should seek judicial redress through the established court procedures.

WHO HANDLES CITIZEN COMPLAINTS?

Complaints about the quality of service provided will be assigned to the employee’s immediate supervisor by the Sheriff or his designee. Examples of these complaints are:

  • Discourtesy/Unprofessional Attitude
  • Lack of Proper Service
  • Improper Procedure (e.g. offense investigation, use of discretion, official law enforcement practices, etc.)

Allegations of misconduct will be handled by the Sheriff’s Office’s Internal Affairs-Internal Compliance Procedures and/or the judicial system. Examples of these complaints are:

  • Criminal Conduct
  • Sexual misconduct
  • Use of excessive force
  • Serious misconduct (severe nature or pattern of violations, lack of service, etc.)
  • Improper searches and seizures
  • Discrimination

HOW DO I FILE A COMPLAINT?

A complaint can be filed in writing or verbally in person by contacting a supervisor at the sheriff’s office and scheduling a date and time to come to the sheriff’s office and speak with a supervisor.

WHAT INFORMATION DO I NEED TO PROVIDE?

On the designated form provided at that time you will be requested to give your name, address, phone numbers where you can be reached and the name, address, and phone numbers of any witnesses. If you choose to remain anonymous, the complaint will be investigated but the process will become more difficult without contact information due to the ability to further clarify the complaint and investigate it fully will be compromised.

You will need to provide the date, time, and facts of the incident. If you have the deputy’s name, unit number, shift assignment, or car number it would be helpful, but is not necessary.

HOW WILL MY COMPLAINT BE RESOLVED?

Each complaint will be resolved in the manner directed by the policies and procedures of the sheriff’s office, any collective bargaining agreements, and/or judicial action if warranted. Your complaint will be assigned to a supervisor who will contact you with the resolution of the complaint if so desired.

Any serious allegation described above will be handled by the Sheriff or his designee. This may include asking for assistance from an outside agency if required. In either case the complaint will be fully investigated.

During the investigation of your complaint the information that may be gained may lead to other information that needs investigated or there may be a lack of information that hinders the investigation. We may rely on other agencies to assist with the investigation or we may have to wait on information from sources outside of the sheriff’s office. Due to this we do not place a specific timeline on when the investigation will be completed. All complaints investigated will be done in a reasonable amount of time depending on where the information leads us in our investigation and where that information originates from. 

Upon completion of the investigation a report will be forwarded to the Sheriff or his designee for final disposition. Once the report is approved, you will be informed of the outcome of the investigation of your complaint, including whether any non-disciplinary corrective action or disciplinary action was taken, unless you choose to remain anonymous.

It is a violation of Ohio law to file a false complaint against a law enforcement officer (ORC 2921.15). Any complaint made that is unfounded will result in criminal charges for the individual making the false complaint and any who provide false information supporting the false complaint.