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Office of Professional Responsibility

 

Overview
The Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR) is overseen by the Patrol Captain and is currently staffed with one employee. This department is responsible for ensuring that the conduct of employees meets or exceeds the standards established for their profession.

The Office of Professional Responsibility conducts Administrative Investigations when employees are alleged to have committed unlawful conduct on or off duty or are alleged to have violated policy, rules or regulations of the Sheriff’s Office.  All employees of the Sheriff’s Office are required to obey laws, policies, rules and regulations of the Sheriff’s Office and Yuma County.

General Rules of Conduct
The primary job responsibility of sworn peace officers is to preserve the peace, prevent crime, detect and arrest those who violate the laws, protect life and property and enforce all laws of the State of Arizona. 

The primary job responsibility of all other employees is to aid and preserve the public safety according to their individual and collective job responsibilities within the Sheriff’s Office. 

The Yuma County Sheriff's Office requires all employees to conduct themselves in a mature and responsible manner, consistent with the Sheriff's Office Policies, Rules and Regulations, and the Yuma County Personnel Policy. The Yuma County Sheriff’s Office will address all violations of YCSO and County policy and impose discipline and sanctions, if required.

The Office of Professional Responsibility will ensure that a non-biased investigation is conducted concerning any violation of the Rules of Conduct.  All discipline administered will be done in an attempt to modify an employee’s behavior in a positive manner. Alleged misconduct while in an off-duty capacity will be handled in the same manner as if the infraction were committed while on duty.

Administrative Investigations
The Sheriff’s Office thoroughly investigates any and all allegation(s) of employee misconduct when received. Violations of Sheriff’s Office rules and regulations, laws, or conduct that is alleged to be unprofessional become the subject of an investigation once a complaint is made. Complaints originate from other employees, supervisors and also from residents served by the Sheriff’s Office. Complaints may require routine or complex investigations.

Administrative Investigations ensure that violations of rules or laws governing professional conduct are addressed. Administrative Investigations is another tool the department uses to ensure professional and quality service to its customers in Yuma County.

Citizen Commendations and Complaints of Sheriff’s Employees
A Citizen Complaint can be completed in person or via U.S. mail, e-mail, the Sheriff’s Office website or telephone. When a complaint or commendation 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. All complaints will be investigated by the employee’s immediate supervisor and submitted to the respective Bureau Commander for review and action. 

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. If the report reflects a commendation of services, the Office of Professional Responsibility will forward the report to the supervisor of the employee for entry in the commendation section of the employee’s performance file. 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 (AI) or an Employee Complaint (EC). The entire packet will then be forwarded to the Office of Professional Responsibility for entry into the Citizen Service Comment Report Log. 

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.

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