Office of Professional Standards
The Office of Professional Standards (formerly Internal Affairs) is responsble for investigating complaints against department members. OPS makes findings of fact, but discipline is left to the members' chain of command to determine, up to and including the Chief of Police.
Anyone who files a complaint against a member of the Tucson Police Department shall be treated with courtesy and respect.
Your Complaint Is Important
The Tucson Police Department is committed to receiving and accepting complaints about the actions and performance of all our personnel. As an organization, we try very hard to provide quality customer service to all of our citizens. Policing is a very difficult and complex job in today's society; we realize that mistakes can be made and that the actions of our personnel may fall short of your expectations.
The members of the Tucson Police Department are aware of the important responsibilities and duties they have as public servants. They must maintain trust and integrity in the community. The Tucson Police Department operates under the constitutional guarantees afforded to everyone and under the laws that govern us. Therefore, the courteous receipt of complaints, thorough and impartial investigation, and just disposition are important in maintaining the confidence of the citizens.
Understanding The Process
A complaint may be filed with the department in the following ways:
- Use the Complaints form
- Contact the Independent Police Auditor
- Call (520) 589-8642 during business hours or (520) 791-4426 (message only)
- Send a letter to: Office of Professional Standards, Tucson Police Department, 270 S. Stone Ave., Tucson, AZ 85701. During the COVID pandemic, we are unable to accept walk-in complaints.
Filing a complaint with OPS does not prevent you from filing a claim against the City or a complaint with other governmental authorities.
Please provide the following information:
- Date, time, and location of the incident
- Names, badge numbers, or car numbers of the members involved
- Names, addresses, and phone numbers of any witnesses
The Complaint Process
If the complaint is investigated by the Office of Professional Standards, a detective from the investigative unit will contact you and schedule an interview. It may be possible that the interview can be conducted over the phone; however, most of the time they are conducted in person.
If the complaint is investigated by the member's chain of command, you may be contacted by a supervisor from the respective division. This interview may be conducted by phone or, in some cases, in person.
Depending on the nature of the complaint, the interview may be taped, and you may be required to return to the scene of the incident to assist investigators in determining what actually took place.
If the complaint is determined to be eligible, you may be referred to the Complaint Mediation Program.
How Long Does The Process Take?
The department requires that all attempts will be made to complete investigations of complaints within 30 days from the date they are received. The Chief of Police may extend that time due to circumstances that prevent the completion of the investigation, e.g., location of witnesses, evidence, etc. You will be notified about the progress and the disposition of the complaint.
What Happens After The Investigation?
Once the investigation is completed, a copy of the investigation will be forwarded to the member's chain of command for review. Upon completion of the review, the chain of command will make a recommendation as to whether the member was in violation of any department rules and procedures, or City directives.
If the member is found NOT TO BE in violation of any rules and procedures, the complaint will be closed with no further action needed.
If the member is found TO BE in violation of any rules and procedures, the chain of command will identify the rule/procedure and make a recommendation for discipline or corrective action.
In severe cases, disciplinary action may result in termination of employment, reduction in rank, or suspension without pay. Other less severe sanctions include training and counseling by supervisory or command staff. The Chief of Police is the final department authority for discipline.
Your Rights After The Investigation
You will be notified of the finding or disposition of your complaint. Please be sure to keep the Office of Professional Standards aware of any change of address