Complaint Process

Our Policy

It is the policy of the Town of Manlius Police Department to investigate all complaints against the department or its employees. Complaints may be resolved through mediation or internal investigation. This ensures the integrity of the department while protecting the rights and interests of both citizens and department employees.

Who May Complain?

Any person, regardless of race, age, gender, nationality, religion, disability, sexual orientation, societal status, political preference or any other class of persons protected by law, who witnesses or has direct knowledge of alleged police misconduct, may file a complaint with the Town of Manlius Police Department.

When Should You Complain?

You should contact the Town of Manlius Police Department whenever you witness behavior by any department employee that may be a violation of state or federal law, involves the excessive use of force, or involves discourteous or abusive treatment.

How Do You File A Complaint?

Generally, complaints are filed through the supervisor of the employee involved. If the immediate supervisor is unavailable, another supervisor may take the complaint or you may ask to be connected to the office of the Chief of Police.


Experience has shown that many complaints we have received are due to a lack of knowledge, or misunderstanding of police policies and procedures. The supervisor taking the information about your complaint will offer to mediate your complaint, which may include:

  • An explanation of our policies and procedures;
  • Discussions with the personnel involved;
  • Other efforts to resolve your complaint in a manner with which you are satisfied.

Who Investigates My Complaint?

Department supervisors are responsible for maintaining discipline and overseeing the conduct of employees assigned to them. The Command staff and Sergeants have the primary responsibility to see that all reports or accusations made against members of the department are completely investigated.

What Is The Complaint Procedure?

Once the complaint has been received and fully investigated, the investigating supervisor shall document the actions, conclusions and recommendations in writing and submit them to the Chief of Police for approval. The finding will be one of the following:

  • EXONERATED – Incident occurred but the member acted lawfully and within department policy.
  • UNFOUNDED – Allegations are false or not factual.
  • NOT SUSTAINED – Allegations are not substantiated. No sufficient evidence was revealed to substantiate or disprove the allegation.
  • SUSTAINED – Allegations are substantiated.

What Is The Disciplinary Process?

If a complaint is sustained, the officer may receive remedial training or disciplinary action may be taken which constitutes one of the following measures:

  • Oral Reprimand
  • Written Reprimand
  • Suspension
  • Demotion
  • Dismissal

In addition to any disciplinary action, the employee may receive counseling and, where appropriate, training to correct deficiencies. When an employee faces suspension, demotion or dismissal, there is a review and appeal process. Upon conclusion of the investigation, the Command staff or Sergeant will follow-up with the complainant.

Responsibility – Ours and Yours…

The Town of Manlius Police Department views all citizen complaints against its employees very seriously and actively pursues investigation into misconduct. For this reason, you must ensure that your complaint is based on fact and you have provided us with all of these facts to the best of your ability. If you intentionally make a false report to this department, criminal and/or civil legal proceedings may be initiated against you.

Our commitment to you…

Employees of the Town of Manlius Police Department shall at all times, strive to be courteous and professional in all dealings with the citizens we serve. It is the hope of the Town of Manlius Police Department that all of your contacts with our officers are positive. If not, we will endeavor to resolve your complaint to your satisfaction in a prompt and objective way.

Guide to the Citizen Complaint Process Brochure (PDF)