Internal Affairs Bureau

​​​​​​​​​​​The mission of the Internal Affairs Bureau is to maintain and enhance the integrity of the Virginia Beach Police Department through the full, fair and objective investigation of allegations of misconduct on the part of police department personnel and the work of the Accreditation Office. Additionally, the Internal Affairs Bureau provides the Chief of Police and his staff with information to evaluate the effectiveness and efficiency of the daily operation of the police department. This is accomplished by, but not limited to, formal inspections, informal inspections, and observations of on-going police operations.

The Internal Affairs Bureau is a fact finding body only and is not responsible for adjudicating matters which it has investigated. The Internal Affairs Bureau conducts administrative investigations only. Any allegations that may result in criminal charges being placed against a police department employee are first investigated by the appropriate criminal investigative office. Completed investigations are forwarded to the appropriate command for review and recommendations. The final disposition is subject to the approval of the Chief of Police.

It is the policy of the Virginia Beach Police Department to investigate all complaints of alleged employee misconduct to equitably determine the validity of the allegations. The primary responsibility for maintaining and reinforcing employee conformance with the standards of conduct of the Virginia Beach Police Department is with the first line supervisor and the employee. All supervisors in the Department will make every reasonable effort to facilitate the courteous and prompt receipt and processing of citizen complaints.

While the Internal Affairs Bureau has historically been the entry point for all citizen complaints against VBPD employees, a new procedure has been implemented. Citizens may contact Internal Affairs or any Police Precinct to file a complaint. Alternatively, they may also file their complaint with the City Manager’s Office. Complaints filed in this manner will be referred to VBPD’s Office of Internal Affairs for investigation and a representative and/or supervisor from VBPD may contact the complainant for further information or added statements in accordance with best practices of conducting a thorough and professional investigation. At the conclusion of the investigation, IA will report the findings to the City Manager, who will follow-up with the complainant. Citizens who wish to file their complaint through the City Manager’s Office may do so here:

For complaints submitted through the Police Department, once the investigation has been finalized, the complainant will be notified of the findings in writing by the Commanding Officer of the Internal Affairs Bureau. Complainants that are not satisfied with the finding may request a review by the Virginia Beach Investigation Review Panel within 30 calendar days from the date that the Police Department findings are mailed to the complainant. The Investigation Review Panel is a Council-appointed public body comprised of Virginia Beach residents. They will review the investigation to determine whether they (1) concur with the findings of the investigation, (2) advise the City Manager that the findings are not supported by the information reasonably available to the Department or (3) advise the City Manager that in its judgment, the investigation is incomplete.  

The Virginia Beach Police Department also recognizes the value of mediation. When allegations of employee misconduct are brought to its attention, the Internal Affairs Bureau will work to facilitate mediation, when appropriate. Mediation is an informal process in which the complainant and accused employee meet face to face with the assistance of a neutral party mediator to discuss the alleged misconduct. The goal of mediation is to engage in good faith discussion and reach a shared understanding. ​​​

The Accreditation Office is tasked with ensuring that Department policies and procedures are based on current national standards and best practices. Accreditation ensures that policy and practice are aligned through the use of Departmental inspections and compliance with the standards of the Advanced Accreditation criteria as outlined by the Commission of Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA).