Independent Monitor - Frequently Asked Questions

Complaints/Commendations

How do I file a complaint/commendation?
Citizen complaints or commendations can be filed with the Denver Police Department, Denver Sheriff Department, the OIM, or the COB.  As all complaint and commendations need to be in writing, complaint /commendation forms are available at the OIM office, the Mayor’s Office, all offices of the Denver Police and Sheriff Departments, and all City Council offices. The form can also be accessed on the Police, Sheriff, COB or OIM web sites. Complaints regarding personnel of the Denver Fire Department should be filed directly with that Department.
  • Fax the form to: (720) 913-3305 (OIM fax line).
  • File the form in person at the Monitor’s office on the 12th floor of the Webb Municipal Building or at any Police or Sheriff Facility.
  • Call the Monitor’s office at (720) 913-3306 and ask to have a form sent to you; Call the Denver Police Department Internal Affairs Bureau at (720) 913-6019; or call the Denver Sheriff Department Internal Affairs Bureau at (720) 865-3888.
  • File online.
Click here for e-form or PDF form.

To file a written complaint in person, please visit the OIM office at the following address:
Office of the Independent Monitor
Wellington Web Municipal Office Building
201 W. Colfax Ave., Dept. 1201
Denver, CO 80202

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What happens after I file a commendation?
When a commendation is received, it will be forwarded to the DPD or DSD, where it will be made available to the appropriate supervisor and filed in the officer's personnel file.

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What happens after I file a complaint?
After a complaint is filed with the Monitor’s Office or the COB, it is documented and referred to Internal Affairs (IAB) for a preliminary review.   IAB will then reveiw the complaint, attempt to identify the officer(s), locate relevant records of the incident, and may interview the complainant(s).  Once the intake review is complete, the IAB Commander, after consultation with the Monitor, can handle the complaint in any one of five ways:
  • Service Complaint/Informal
  • Mediation
  • Referral
  • Decline 
  • Formal IAB Investigation

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How is a referral handled?
When the IAB or the Monitor’s Office determines the concerns can be better addressed outside of their offices, they will refer the complaint to other agencies or offices.

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How does mediation resolve a complaint?
The Monitor’s Office is committed to the concept of community-police mediation. The mediation program will allow community members and officers to meet and discuss their concerns in a non-confrontational setting under the guidance of professional mediators. Mediation is subject to the approval of the complainant, the officer, the monitor, and the Internal Affairs Commander.

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What is a service complaint?
The complaint can be assigned to the District or Bureau where the officer is assigned.  A supervisor may contact the complainant and discuss the incident with the involved officer(s), including counseling the involved officer(s), if necessary.

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When is a complaint dismissed?
The complaint can be declined/dismissed if the IAB Commander and the Monitor agree the complaint is untimely or false, or the alleged behavior does not rise to the level of misconduct.  A complaint may also be declined/dismissed if the complainant cannot be reached or refuses to cooperate with investigators.  A complaint will be declined if Internal Affairs does not have jurisdiction over the complaint or the complaint must be decided upon through a court process - a judicial remedy (e.g. alleging false or wrong charges, etc.)   If the complaint is dismissed, the complainant will receive a letter explaining the reason(s) for the dismissal (if the complainant’s mailing address is known).

Community complaints against officers should be filed as soon as possible. It is expected that a complaint involving minor misconduct (such a discourtesy) will be filed within 60 days of the incident and a complaint involving serious misconduct (such as unreasonable use-of-force) will be filed within 6 months of the incident. Exceptions to these timeliness rules may be made if good cause is shown. For further information on dismissal guidelines, you may contact the OIM office directly or access the OIM website for a comprehensive explanation of the Monitor’s complaint monitoring guidelines.

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