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Police complaints

The members of the Somerville Police Department are committed to providing law enforcement services that are fair, effective, and impartially applied. It is in everyone's best interests that your complaint about the performance of an individual officer is resolved fairly and promptly.

How to file a complaint

There are several ways to make an internal affairs complaint against a Somerville Police officer.

Call us

Call Somerville Police Dispatch at 908-725-0331 and ask to speak with the Supervisor or the Officer in Charge of the shift.

Email us

You may initiate the complaint by sending an email to Administrative@SomervillePD.org. Please include the officer's name or badge number, date, time, description of the incident and your contact information for follow up.

Submit the Internal Affairs Report form

  1. Review the Complaint Information Sheet
  2. Download and complete the Internal Affairs Report form
  3. Submit it by:

Forms translated in several languages

Complaint Information Sheet Internal Affairs Report Form
Arabic PDF PDF
Chinese PDF PDF
Haitian PDF PDF
Hindi PDF PDF
Korean PDF PDF
Polish PDF PDF
Portuguese PDF PDF
Spanish PDF PDF
Tagalog PDF PDF
Vietnamese PDF PDF

FAQs (frequently asked questions)

  • May a person report misconduct over the phone? Yes, Somerville police will investigate all reported incidents no matter how they are received.
  • May a person report misconduct anonymously? Yes, the person can remain anonymous.
  • May a juvenile report police misconduct without their parent or guardian? Yes, age is not a factor in investigating police misconduct. It will be investigated the same as if the complainant was an adult.
  • Will a person be asked about their immigration status? No, the Attorney General’s directive prohibits police officers in New Jersey from asking someone’s immigration status, unless that person has been arrested for a crime or driving while intoxicated.

Investigation

The Police Department has formal procedures for investigating your complaint. These procedures are designed to ensure fairness and protect the rights of both citizens and law enforcement officers:

  • Reports or complaints of officer/employee misconduct must be accepted from any person, including anonymous sources, at any time.
  • Complaints shall be accepted regardless of age, race, ethnicity, religion, gender, sexual orientation, disability, or immigration status of the complaining party.
  • Your complaint will be sent to a superior officer or a specially trained internal affairs officer who will conduct a thorough and objective investigation.
  • You might be asked to help in the investigation by giving a detailed statement about what happened or providing other important information or documents.
  • All complaints against law enforcement officers are thoroughly investigated. You will be kept informed of the status of the investigation and its ultimate outcome, if requested, and if you provide contact information.

Discipline

The exact discipline imposed is confidential, but you will be advised of the ultimate finding, namely:

  • Sustained: A preponderance of the evidence shows an officer violated any law; regulation; directive, guideline, policy, or procedure issued by the Attorney General or County Prosecutor; agency protocol; [standard] operating procedure; rule; or training.
  • Unfounded: A preponderance of the evidence shows that the alleged misconduct did not occur.
  • Exonerated: A preponderance of the evidence shows the alleged conduct did occur but did not violate any law; regulation; directive, guideline, policy, or procedure issued by the Attorney General or County Prosecutor; agency protocol; [standard] operating procedure; rule; or training.
  • Not Sustained: The investigation failed to disclose sufficient evidence to clearly prove or disprove the allegation.

Next steps

  • If our investigation shows that a crime may have been committed, the county prosecutor will be notified. You might be asked to testify in court.
  • If our investigation results in an officer being charged with a violation of department rules, you may be asked to testify in a departmental hearing.
  • If our investigation shows that the complaint is unfounded or that the officer acted properly, the matter will be closed.
  • Internal affairs investigations are confidential and all disciplinary hearings shall be closed to the public unless the defendant officer requests an open hearing.
  • You may contact the Internal Affairs Investigator with any additional information or any questions about the case. The investigator will provide you with a contact number and/or email address.
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