Citizen Complaints/Compliments Last Updated: Friday December 19 2014
Employee Conduct Hotline: 785-368-9595

Complaint / Compliment Form | Download Brochure (ESP)

Phone IconPeople living and visiting in Topeka are valuable eyes and ears for our community and for our police department. We respect your input about our operations both good and bad. Whenever you see a police action that you believe we should be aware of, please report them. An effective partnership between the citizens of Topeka and the police department will ensure quality law enforcement in our community.

If you have a concern or complaint about the Topeka Police Department, we strongly suggest that you bring it to our attention. The department takes your comments, compliments and complaints seriously. We believe that the public is entitled to efficient, effective and impartial service. If you believe that you have been unfairly treated by a member of the department, please let us know. It is important to bring your complaints to our attention in a timely manner. There is no deadline for filing a complaint, but cases that are more than six months old may be given a lower priority.

Sometimes people who have been arrested or have received a citation, feel that they are not guilty of the charge and want to complain to the department. The guilt, innocence or legality of an arrest are matters for the courts to decide and are not subject to the police complaint process. Only allegations of employee misconduct are investigated.

Citizen complaints are investigated by the Professional Standards Unit or by a Division Commander. A formal investigative process is followed in each case. A complete investigation of the circumstances surrounding the complaint is conducted and the results provided to the Chief of Police for review and further action.

How to file a Complaint or Compliment Regarding a Police Action?

You may find it inconvenient or uncomfortable to come to the Law Enforcement Center to complete a written complaint form. To simplify the process the department provides a number of ways for citizens to file complaints:

Click on the Hyperlink above and complete the on-line form (24 hours a day).
Pick up a complaint form at the Topeka Law Enforcement Center (LEC), complete it and return it to the Professional Standards Unit (24 hours a day).
Call the Professional Standards Unit at 785-368-9214 or 785-368-9573 (Business hours).
Call the Police Conduct Hotline at 785-368-9595 and leave a voice mail (24 hours a day).
E-mail the department at www.topeka.org/tpd (24 hours a day).
Fax the Professional Standards Unit at 785-368-9458 (24 hours a day).
Send a letter to the Topeka Police Department Professional Standards Unit at 320 S. Kansas Ave., Suite #100, Topeka, Kansas 66603-3914.
Contact the desk officer at the LEC or by phone at 785-368-9551 (24 hours a day).
Contact the Police Field Commander at 785-368-9551 (24 hours a day).
Contact the Office of the Chief of Police at 785-368-9551 (Business hours).

What to Expect

Once a complaint is received an investigator from the Professional Standards Unit or the Division Commander’s will contact you and make arrangements to obtain a detailed statement about what occurred. The investigator will then conduct a thorough and objective investigation. Every effort is made to complete the investigation within 90 days; however, circumstances may require a longer period of time. If criminal charges were filed or a citation was issued concerning the event in question, it may be necessary to wait for court proceedings to conclude before starting the administrative investigation.

At the conclusion of the investigation the results will be presented to the Chief of Police who will make a determination as to whether the employee(s) acted properly. If the allegation is proven, appropriate remedial action will be taken by the department. That action may involve some form of discipline against the officer involved. You will be notified in writing as to the disposition of the case. You will not; however, be told the nature of the discipline. Disciplinary actions against public employees are protected from public disclosure by Kansas State Law K.S.A. 45-221.

What Help is Needed from You
Your cooperation is essential. Please make yourself available to members of the PSU staff for interviews. Although the incident in which to you were involved may provoke strong feelings, keeping a calm and cooperative attitude is very beneficial to the investigative process. It is also important to that you notify PSU if your address or phone number changes.

The Complaint Process
The complaint process protects the rights of both parties. You have the right to have your complaint taken seriously, to be treated with respect and to have a thorough investigation that identifies all relevant facts. You have the right to have meetings with police personnel be conducted in a manner that will avoid intimidation. If you do not feel these rights are being respected, you should contact the Office of the Chief of Police. As public employees, police personnel have similar rights protecting them in the proper exercise of their duties.

Racial Profiling

It is the policy of the Topeka Police Department to treat all persons having contact with the agency in a fair, equitable and objective manner, in accordance with the law and without consideration of their race, color, national origin or other individual characteristics. Topeka Police Department officers are prohibited from initiating law enforcement action against any person based solely on a person’s race, ethnic background, gender, sexual orientation or religion.

Kansas Law (K.S.A. 22-4606 through K.S.A. 22-4611) prohibits the practice of racial profiling by any law enforcement officer.

"Racial or other biased-based policing’’ means the unreasonable use of race, ethnicity, national origin, gender or religion by a law enforcement officer in deciding to initiate an enforcement action. It is not racial or other biased-based policing when race, ethnicity, national origin, gender or religion is used in combination with other identifying factors as part of a specific individual description to initiate an enforcement action.

If you believe that you may have been the subject of racial profiling as defined above, you may make a complaint to the Topeka Police Department or you may make a complaint to the Office of Attorney General. To make a complaint to the Topeka Police Department please follow the process described above for making a citizen complaint. To make a complaint to the Office of the Attorney General please contact them at785-296-2215, or by mail at the:

Office of Attorney General

120 SW 10th Street
Topeka Kansas 66612

All complaints alleging racial profiling on the part of a Topeka Police Department employee will be thoroughly investigated. Violation of TPD policy prohibiting racial profiling will result in disciplinary action against the involved employee(s).

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