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MPD Complaint Investigation Process

A complaint may be submitted to either the MPD or Office of Police Complaints (OPC). The following flowcharts detail the complaint review processes.

Step 1
The complaint is filed with the MPD.

Step 2
The MPD official responsible for investigating the complaint contacts you to let you know he or she is investigating it.  If necessary, the official will obtain additional information.

Step 3
The complaint is investigated–witnesses and the officer against whom the complaint is filed are interviewed.  The officer is entitled to know the complainant’s name, if it is known, and the nature of the complaint. However, the MPD will not reveal the complainant's name if the complainant requests to remain anonymous.

Step 4
Investigation is completed and one of the following conclusions is made:

  • Sustained – where the person’s allegation is supported by sufficient evidence to determine that the incident occurred and the actions of the officer were improper.
  • Insufficient Facts – where there are insufficient facts to decide whether the alleged misconduct occurred.
  • Exonerated – where a preponderance of the evidence shows that the alleged conduct did occur but did not violate MPD policies, procedures, or training.
  • Unfounded – where the investigation determined no facts to support that the incident complained of actually occurred.

Step 5
You are notified of the outcome of the investigation.  If you do not agree with it, you may appeal the decision in writing by sending a letter to the Chief of Police at 300 Indiana Ave., NW, Rm. 5080, Washington, DC  20001.