Make a Complaint
The Yuma County Sheriff's Office is dedicated to protecting the rights of all citizens, regardless of race, age, sex, nationality, or religion. The men and women of the Yuma County Sheriff's Office take this charge seriously and perform their duties in a professional and respectful manner.
If you find it necessary to lodge a complaint, an objective investigation will be conducted in accordance with departmental regulations as well as state and federal laws. If you feel that an employee has acted in an abusive or unprofessional manner, you are encouraged to report the matter.
Who may file a complaint?
Any person who witnesses or has direct knowledge of suspected misconduct may contact the Yuma County Sheriff's Office to initiate a complaint. Third party complaints are not recorded unless the complaining individual is a minor or is mentally incapacitated. A complaint may be filed anonymously, but we encourage you to provide a name or contact information in case additional information regarding the complaint is needed.
How to file a complaint
Complaints may be filed with the involved employee's supervisor or, if the supervisor is not known, the complaint may be filed with the Yuma County Sheriff's Office. Complaints may be filed in person, via the internet, telephone or U.S. mail.
- In Person: Ask to speak with the employee's supervisor
- Telephone: (928) 783-4427
- U.S. Mail: Send correspondence to Yuma County Sheriff's Office, 141 S. 3rd Avenue, Yuma, AZ 85364
- Internet: Complete and submit a form via the internet. Click here to complete Complaint Form
Written correspondence should include the following information:
- Date, time, and location of the incident
- Your name, address (including zip code), and daytime telephone number
- Yuma County Sheriff's Office case number
- Name of Department employee(s) involved
- A brief description of the complaint
How Complaints Are Investigated
YCSO investigates citizen complaints and takes the appropriate action to resolve these complaints. When a complaint is received from a citizen, the Sheriff’s Office employee taking the report will complete a Citizen Service Comment Report and forward the original to the immediate supervisor of that employee and submit a copy to the Office of Professional Responsibility. Once the complaint is received by the supervisor, they will send you a letter acknowledging the complaint and confirming that an investigation has begun.
All complaints will be investigated by the employee’s immediate supervisor and submitted to the respective Bureau Commander for review and action. During the investigation of the allegations made, we will interview you, the employee named in the complaint and all witnesses. When appropriate, we will examine physical evidence and take photographs.
In all cases, the involved employee will be notified of the receipt of any service reports as soon as practical. The employee shall then be kept advised of the initial investigation and recommendations by the responsible supervisor.
Should the initial investigation include findings of policy and procedure violations, the supervisor will recommend whether the investigation to be conducted should be an Administrative Investigation (A.I.) or an Employee Complaint (E.C.). The entire packet will then be forwarded to the Office of Professional Responsibility for entry into the Citizen Service Comment Report Log.
If the investigation reveals there is not enough evidence to warrant action on your complaint, the complaint will be filed away and it remains part of an employee's file.
Remember, no matter what the outcome, you still have the right to file a complaint if you believe an officer or employee behaved improperly or in an inappropriate manner. It is, however, a misdemeanor to make a false complaint against an officer.
After the investigation is completed
When the investigation is complete, the Bureau Lieutenant or his/her designee will make contact with the complainant, by telephone or in writing, to advise that their concerns were investigated and that appropriate action was taken. Following is a list of possible findings:
- Unfounded: The complaint was not based on facts as shown by the Investigation or the incident complained of did not occur.
- Exonerated: The action complained of did occur, but the investigation disclosed the actions were reasonable, lawful and proper.
- Not Involved: The investigation established that the employee was not involved in the action complained of, although the incident did occur.
- Not Sustained: There is insufficient evidence available to either prove or disprove the allegations of the complaint.
- Sustained: The investigation disclosed sufficient evidence to support the allegations in the complaint.
- Misconduct: Not based on Original Complaint: Substantiated misconduct not alleged in the complaint but disclosed by the investigation.
What is the disciplinary process?
If a complaint is sustained, corrective training may occur. Disciplinary action may be taken; which can range from verbal counseling to dismissal. The matter will be handled administratively. Disciplinary records may not be subject to public disclosure without a court order.
Can a person get in trouble for filing a complaint?
Not if you are truthful. We will not take action against a person who has acted in good faith. However, be aware that per Arizona State Law, A.R.S. § 13-2907.01, it is a misdemeanor to knowingly make a false statement to a law enforcement agency.
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