What You Need to Know to File a Complaint Against a Virginia Beach Police Department Employee

The City of Virginia Beach and its Police Department are committed to providing the best possible service to our citizens and visitors.  We set a high standard for professional conduct, fairness and courtesy.  

Since November 1987, the Virginia Beach Police Department (VBPD) has complied with the national policing standards established by the Commission of Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA). The VBPD was presented the "CALEA Gold Standard Advanced Accreditation with Excellence" for meeting the highest professional standards (almost 500 individual measures) following each of its previous five on-site inspections.

If you believe one or more of our employees has acted in an inappropriate or unprofessional manner, or are dissatisfied with the service you have received, you may file a complaint either directly with the VBPD or with the City Manager's Office.  All complaints will receive a fair and thorough investigation to ensure our members are meeting the standards we have set and are in full compliance with the laws of our city, state and country.

Complaints regarding courtesy or unsatisfactory performance can qualify for mediation. With the full agreement of the involved parties, this process is an alternative to a filing a formal complaint. The Mediation Program provides an opportunity for the concerned citizen and the Department member to openly discuss the circumstances of the police encounter with the benefit of a trained, neutral mediator helping to manage the dialogue. The intent of the Mediation Program is to engage in good faith discussions with the goal of reaching a shared understanding.  Additional information regarding the Mediation Program can be found here (from the VBPD Administrative Investigation Field Guide):  Handling Citizen Complaints by Mediation

Prior to submitting your complaint, please review the FAQs below to familiarize yourself with the process and to learn what information you will need to submit:

What is a complaint?

A complaint is an expression of formal discontent or accusation made in writing or verbally alleging illegal activity, misconduct, or a violation of the Virginia Beach Police Department Rules or Regulations by a member of the department.    

What information do I need to include in my complaint?

All complaints should include the following information:

Name and contact information (address, phone number(s) and email address
Date and time of incident(s):
Name of officer(s) involved (if known):
Location of incident:
Description of incident (as specific and complete as possible):
Name and contact information for any witness(es):

Complaints may also be filed anonymously. However, this option will significantly impede the ability of the assigned investigator to obtain additional information if needed and prevent notification to you of the disposition of the complaint.

How will the complaint be investigated?

Notwithstanding the avenue by which you choose to file the complaint (submitted directly to the Police Department or through the City Manager’s Office), it will be assigned to a police supervisor for a full, fair and objective investigation. The assigned investigator could be a supervisor within the involved employee’s command or an investigator within the Office of Internal Affairs. Upon completion of the investigation, a recommendation is made by the commanding officer of the involved employee to the Chief of Police for disposition. The Chief of Police may concur with the recommendation, modify the disposition or order further investigation.

Does this process address guilt or innocence of the VBPD employee or the person making thecomplaint?

No. The submitted complaint prompts an administrative investigation to determine if the Department member acted according to VBPD Rules and Regulations.  Dispositions for the administrative investigation are concluded as outlined below:

All citizen complaints and internal investigations are assigned specific allegation classifications.  Each allegation requires the accused employee's commanding officer to recommend one of the below listed findings to the Chief of Police.

Sustained:  Sufficient evidence to prove allegation. The incident occurred, the accused employee committed the act, and it was in violation of a departmental rule or order.

Not Sustained: Insufficient evidence to prove or disprove allegation. The incident may or may not have occurred and/or the overall evidence is not enough to establish that a violation occurred.

Exonerated:  Incident occurred, but employee's actions were proper.  The employee did essentially what the citizen alleges they did, but the actions were reasonable, proper, and consistent with current policies and/or training.

Unfounded:  Allegation is proven to be false.  The evidence clearly demonstrates that the event did not occur, or if it did occur, the accused employee is not the person responsible for committing it.

Allegations that may result in criminal charges being placed against a VBPD employee are first investigated by the appropriate criminal investigative office.  Once the criminal investigation is concluded, the Office of Internal Affairs will launch the administrative investigation to determine if any Department Rules and Regulations were violated.

The administrative investigation and the disposition outcome of the complaint against a VBPD employee have no impact upon any pending criminal court proceedings, actions or charges against the complainant.

What happens if an employee is found to have acted outside of the VBPD rules and regulations?

Any employee found to be outside of the Department’s Rules and Regulations will be subject to corrective action. The Police Department follows the City of Virginia Beach disciplinary policy of progressive corrective action. Corrective action depends on the rule violation and ranges from additional training and coaching to possible separation from the Department.

Will I be notified of the disposition?

Yes, if you have provided your contact information, you will be notified of the disposition in writing. The investigative process can take up to six months to complete, depending on the complexity of the investigation.

Do I have the right to appeal?

Yes. You may appeal the disposition by the Police Department and request  a review by the Investigation Review Panel (IRP). The IRP is a civilian oversight panel of Virginia Beach residents appointed by City Council.  More information about the IRP can be found here:  IRP.

Where do I file my complaint?

You have multiple options for registering a complaint:

In Person: (ask to speak with a supervisor)
First Precinct: 2509 Princess Anne Road, Virginia Beach, VA 23456
Second Precinct: 810 Virginia Beach Boulevard, Virginia Beach, VA 23451           
Third Precinct: 926 Independence Boulevard, Virginia Beach, VA 23455
Fourth Precinct: 5152 Lobaugh Drive, Virginia Beach, VA 23456 

Office of Internal Affairs: 2509 Princess Anne Road, Virginia Beach, VA  23456

Office of the City Manager (by appointment): 2401 Courthouse Drive, Suite 234, Virgina Beach, VA 23456

By mail:
Office of the City Manager
Attn:  Nancy Bloom
2401 Courthouse Drive, Suite 234
Virginia Beach, VA 23456

Office of Internal Affairs
2509 Princess Anne Road
Virginia Beach, VA  23456

Phone call:
First Precinct: (757) 385-4377
Second Precinct: (757) 385-2700
Third Precinct: (757) 385-2703
Fourth Precinct: (757) 385-2800
Special Operations: (757) 385-4606
Detective Bureau: (757) 385-4101
Office of Internal Affairs: (757) 385-4145
Office of the City Manager: (757) 385-8190 (Nancy Bloom) or 385-4581 (Kathy Hinson)

Electronic form:
If you would like to submit your complaint electronically through an online form, please select either of the two buttons below. 

File a complaint online Here​​​​​​​​​​​​

Contact Information