Guide to Commendation & Complaint Process

How to Commend a Police Department Employee

When you receive service from our department that you feel is worthy of a commendation, we would like hear about it. Although our employees do not expect to be thanked for everything they do, recognition of exceptional service is always appreciated. You can either write a brief letter describing the incident and the actions you feel were exceptional, or you can call 402-441-6000 and ask to speak with a supervisor. You may also call the Internal Affairs Office at 402-441-7222. This kind of feedback helps us to know if we are doing a good job.

Filing a Complaint

Who may make a complaint?

Any person who witnesses or has direct knowledge of police employee misconduct may make a complaint with the Lincoln Police Department. The Lincoln Police Department will investigate any employee action that is contrary to department policy, is a violation of city, state, or federal law, or involves the use of excessive force or discourteous treatment.

How do I file a complaint?

There are several ways to file a complaint:
Guide to Commendation & Complaint Process
  • Telephone the Internal Affairs Office at 402-441-7222, Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Call 402-441-6000 anytime and ask to speak with a supervisor.
  • Come to the Lincoln Police Department and file the complaint in person.
  • Fill out the Complaint Statement and mail it to:
    Lincoln Police Department
    Internal Affairs Office
    575 South 10th Street
    Lincoln, NE 68508

Be prepared to furnish as much information as possible. When making a complaint, simply relate the facts as you know them.

Who investigates the complaint?

In most cases, the supervisor of the employee will conduct an inquiry into the alleged misconduct. In more serious allegations, the Internal Affairs Office will conduct the investigation.

What happens after the complaint is filed?

The investigation will include interviewing witnesses and other parties who can provide pertinent information. At the conclusion of the investigation you will be contacted either by mail, in person, or by telephone and told the disposition of your complaint. There are three possible dispositions to a complaint.

  • Sustained: The investigation proved the allegation.
  • Not Sustained: The investigation failed to prove or disprove the allegation.
  • Exonerated: The investigation showed the act occurred, but that the actions were justified, lawful, and proper.

What will happen if the complaint is sustained?

If a complaint is sustained against an employee, disciplinary action is taken. Disciplinary action can range from counseling by a supervisor to termination of employment. City, state, and federal personnel laws govern an employee's privacy rights. Disciplinary records may not be subject to public disclosure without a court order. You will be informed of the investigation's findings and whether disciplinary action will be taken.

Are there any complaints that will not be investigated?

The Lincoln Police Department will not investigate the lawfulness of any arrest or citation. The guilt or innocence of any criminal charge or traffic citation is determined only in court. If your complaint alleges that you were not advised of your Miranda Rights, this issue is also resolved in court.