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Commendation and Complaint Process

Commend an Officer

Flow-chart for Commending an Officer
Commend a CMPD Employee

Commendations may be filed through the CMPD website, the City of Charlotte, U.S. mail, email, in-person, telephone or anonymously.

Commendation letters are sent to the employee's chain of command (employees generally report to a Captain, Lieutenant and Sergeant)

Employees receive annual performance and development reviews. Positive job performance and feedback ensure that employees are meeting or exceeding expectations.

Complain on an Officer

Flow-chart for an Officer Complaint
Submit a Complaint

Complaints may be filed through the CMPD website, the City of Charlotte, U.S. mail, email, in-person, telephone, or anonymously. Complaints can also be filed directly with Community Relations Committee

Every complaint will be investigated. CMPD is governed by 42 Rules of Conduct divided between lower level and more serious allegations

Lower level allegations are investigated and adjudicated by the employee’s chain of command (direct supervisors)

More serious allegations are investigated by Internal Affairs and adjudicated by an Independent Chain of Command (supervisors who do not work directly with the employee)
  • Sustained – the allegation is proven by evidence
  • Not sustained – There is no information to prove or disprove the allegation
  • Exonerated – the incident occurred, however; the employee acted lawfully and properly
  • Unfounded – the allegation is false and the alleged incident did not occur

When making a decision about corrective action for allegations of misconduct, supervisors will consider the CMPD’s disciplinary philosophy including: employee’s motivation, degree of harm, employee’s experience, intentional/unintentional errors, and employee’s past performance history.

Internal Affairs will notify all complainants in writing of the disposition of the complaint following

Citizen's Review Board

Citizen's Review Board

Flow-chart for Citizen's Review Board
Citizen's Review Board

The Citizens Review Board (CRB) is comprised of eleven members; five appointed by the City Council, three by the Mayor, and three by the City Manager. The CRB serves in an advisory capacity to the Chief of Police, City Council, and the City Manager. The CRB hears appeals from citizens regarding the decision of the Chief of Police as to discipline for certain allegations of misconduct. The notification to the citizen includes instructions for appeal to the Citizens Review Board. The following categories are eligible:
  • Arbitrary Profiling
  • Arrest Search & Seizure
  • Discharge of Firearm with injury
  • Unbecoming conduct
  • Use of Force

Appeal is filed with the City Clerk’s Office. The Community Relations Committee can assist with the filing

Initial meeting allows each party to meet separately with the CRB to present evidence and testimony. The CRB deliberates to determine if there is substantial evidence of error in the disposition made by the Chief of Police. If there is no error there is no further action. The CRB may also make recommendations to the CMPD as to policies or concerns they have observed.

A more formal hearing includes attorneys, evidence and testimony in a trial-like setting.

CRB determines if by the greater weight of the evidence that the Chief of Police clearly erred regarding the complaint and disposition.

Notification to all parties including CRB and City Council within 7 days following the City Manager’s decision

To learn more about the Citizen's Review Board, please review the guidelines for this board.(PDF, 303KB)

Civil Service Board

Civil Service Board

The Civil Service Board (CSB) is comprised of nine members. Six are appointed by City Council and three are appointed by the Mayor. The CSB approves hiring, promotions, and recommendations for terminations of Police Officers and Fire Fighters. Additionally, the CSB hears appeals of discipline resulting in suspensions from duty. The Chief of Police cannot terminate a sworn employee that is off probation. The Chief of Police recommends termination to the CSB, who then makes the final determination after a hearing before five CSB members. Appeals of suspensions are heard by three CSB members.
another Flow-chart for Civil Service Board
Officers may appeal active suspensions to the CSB. This appeal must be submitted within 15 days. Officers who are recommended for termination by the Chief of Police are entitled to receive an automatic appeal to the CSB.

The CSB hearing is a formal hearing. Each party is permitted representation by an attorney. Evidence is submitted, witnesses testify under oath and the CSB members may also question witnesses.

The CSB may decrease or increase the amount of time an officer is suspended. Additionally, CSB can decline to accept the Chief of Police’s recommendation that an officer be terminated and return that officer to work.

To learn more about the Civil Service Board, please review the guidelines for this board.(PDF, 234KB)