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The OPC Complaint Investigation Process

The Office of Police Complaints (OPC) has the authority to receive, investigate, and resolve police misconduct complaints filed by the public against MPDC officers.  Complaint forms can be submitted in person, by mail, by fax to 202-727-9182, or by dropping forms off at any MPDC district station.

Step 1
Once a completed, signed complaint form is received, OPC reviews the complaint to confirm that it falls within the agency’s jurisdiction.

Step 2
If the complaint is within OPC’s jurisdiction, most complaints are assigned to one of OPC’s investigators.  OPC also may refer the complaint to mediation, which involves a confidential, face-to-face meeting between the complainant and the subject officer that is guided by a neutral third party who is trained to conduct mediation, and who assists the  parties to work together to reach a mutually-agreeable resolution of the complaint. 

Step 3
If the complaint is investigated, an investigator will interview witnesses, collect documents, and prepare a report summarizing the investigation.

Step 4
Based on the outcome of the investigation, OPC may dismiss the complaint, or, if the investigation indicates that police misconduct may have occurred, the complaint will be referred to an independent complaint examiner, who will issue a written decision.

Step 5
OPC notifies the complainant and subject officer of the decision regarding the complaint, and if the complaint is sustained, it is forwarded to the Chief of Police for imposition of discipline.  You will be notified of the discipline and may respond to it in writing to the Chief of Police.