Internal Affairs Complaints - FAQs

​​​​What is a complaint?

A complaint is an expression of formal discontent or accusation made in a written or verbal form that alleges illegal activity, misconduct, or a violation of rules or regulations of the police department or of the City of Virginia Beach.

Can I talk to a Police supervisor about my complaint?

YES. Police supervisors will speak to you about a complaint. It is not a requirement for you to make a written complaint.

Does the complaint process address guilt or innocence?

NO. The complaint process is not intended to address an expression of dissatisfaction that SOLELY addresses guilt or innocence. That will be determined by a court of law. The complaint process will have NO impact upon pending court action.

How is my complaint investigated?

The complaint is assigned to a police supervisor for investigation. This could be the first line supervisor of the involved employee, or an investigator in 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.

Will I be notified of the disposition?

YES. You will be notified of the disposition in writing. This process from beginning to end can take a number of months to complete depending on the complexity of the investigation.

Do I have the right to appeal?

YES. You may appeal the initial disposition by requesting a review by the Investigative Review Panel. For further information please contact the Department of Human Resources.

What happens if an employee is found to have acted wrongfully?

Aside from arrests arising out of criminal conduct, an employee may be subjected to administrative disciplinary action.


Where do I file my complaint?

You may present your complaint in person at any police precinct or at the Office of Internal Affairs; file an electronic complaint; or mail your complaint to the Virginia Beach Police Department, Office of Internal Affairs, 2509 Princess Anne Road, Virginia Beach, VA 23456; or you may call the police department at (757) 385-4145.

How do I complete the complaint form?

Include on the complaint form your name, address and phone number. Although the Virginia Beach Police Department does accept anonymous complaints, if you identify yourself, then you will be informed of the disposition of your complaint. Include in your complaint a statement in which you state the facts surrounding your complaint, to include the names and addresses of witnesses, names of officers and any additional information that would assist in a speedy investigation.

The Virginia Beach Police Department is vitally interested in the welfare of all citizens and in taking action where its employees have proven derelict in their duties or are guilty of wrongdoing. If it becomes necessary for you to make a complaint, you can be assured that it will be given a fair and thorough investigation.

By the same token, if you have occasion to see a police officer doing outstanding work, tell him or us about it. Your police officers are individuals who are dedicated to serving you and our community.

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