Citizen Complaint Procedures

The Holland Police Department takes seriously all complaints regarding the service provided by the Department and the conduct of its members.  The Department will accept and address all complaints of misconduct in accordance with policy and applicable federal, state and local law, municipal rules.

It is also the policy of this department to ensure that the community can report misconduct without concern for reprisal or retaliation.

If you wish to file a complaint against a member of the Holland Police Department and the complaint is of a minor nature, the supervisor will ask some questions about the conduct or demeanor that led to the complaint.  In many instances, a complaint can be handled informally.  A complaint may originate because of a misunderstanding about our department’s function, its policies and procedures, or the duties and responsibilities of its members.  Quite often, if a potential complainant asks some questions about our procedures or inquiries about the reason some particular action was taken, it is possible for a supervisor to provide a very adequate explanation.  If your questions or concerns cannot be resolved in an informal manner, you have the right to make a formal complaint.

Formal complaint forms will be made available to anyone making a request.  Forms are available online or from any supervisor.

A formal complaint will be investigated by a supervisor who will also personally talk to the member in question.  Complaints will be fully investigated, allowing both sides to represent their view of the circumstances.

If the formal complaint may be of a major nature, such as a complaint which could lead to suspension, reduction of rank, or termination of a member or particularly if the complaint is of a criminal nature, you will be asked to leave your name, address, and telephone number in order for the Chief to become involved in the investigation.  This procedure is required to protect your rights and the rights of the employee and to ensure that a thorough investigation is conducted.  If serious charges are brought against a member or against the Holland Police Department, we want to ensure that the investigation is handled in such a manner that all rules of evidence are followed, that interviews and/or interrogations are handled correctly, and that no shred of evidence is lost due to improper handling of the case.

Anonymous and third-party complaints are accepted and investigated to the extent that sufficient information is provided.  While we cannot demand that you provide your information, it is very difficult to fully investigate a complaint against a member if we cannot contact you later to confirm details and to keep you informed of the status or outcome of the investigation.  When any anonymous complaint is made against an employee and if after an investigation there is no corroborative evidence of any kind, the complaint will be classified as unfounded.

Your patience in dealing with the investigation of complaints is appreciated.  We will try to resolve the complaint as soon possible, while trying to safeguard your rights and the rights of the member.

If you have questions about other policies and procedures that affect the handling of complaints or the investigation procedure, do not hesitate to ask.

False Complaints:  The Holland Police Department is committed to investigating concerns of employee misconduct.  Officers can be targets of false complaints by people who seek revenge on them for doing their job.  The Ohio Revised Code makes it a first degree misdemeanor to knowingly file a false complaint of misconduct against a peace officer.  Please remember, it is not only expensive to investigate false complaints, but it can also affect an officer’s career.  If evidence clearly indicates an individual has knowingly filed a false complaint against a peace officer, charges will be filed in accordance with O.R.C. 2921.15(B).