Citizen Complaint Form
In order for the Lockport Police Department to remain as transparent as possible, the Department's Citizen Complaint Form is available at the Police Department as well as through the link below.
A citizen can file a complaint by speaking directly to a Lockport Police Department employee or by submitting a complaint form.
When a complaint is filed, the following procedures are activated:
1. Complaint Initiation
When misconduct is observed or complaints/information relative to misconduct are received by a member of the LPD, the department member will immediately notify a supervisor and prepare a written report to be forwarded through the chain of command containing information received, observations, and action taken. The supervisor or command officer who first receives the information of the alleged violation will ensure the citizen is aware of the complaint process and has been provided a Complaint Receipt Form. The supervisor or command officer will ensure the complaint against department member form has been properly completed and notarized by the complainant prior to forwarding the complaint.
Illinois Compiled Statutes, sections 720 ILCS 5/31-4 and 5/26-1, state it is a criminal offense for any person to knowingly submit false information or transmit false information to a peace/public officer knowing there is no reasonable grounds that such offense has been committed.
The Chief of Police will designate a department supervisor or command officer to conduct the investigation into the complaint.
2. Investigative Process
The officer assigned to investigate a complaint against department employee will contact all complainants and witnesses as soon as possible. It is in everyone’s best interest that the complainant is cooperative with the investigating officer so the complaint can be thoroughly investigated. The investigating officer may request a written statement from the complainant and witnesses. These statements will assist the investigator in conducting a fair, impartial, timely, and thorough investigation. The investigating officer will prepare a summary of the investigation and forward the findings through his/her chain of command. However, the investigating officer does not make recommendations regarding the disposition of the complaint or disciplinary matters involving the affected employee.
3. Time Frame of Investigations
The scope of the investigation will be determined by the seriousness of the allegation and by the number of persons involved. Investigations may take several weeks depending on the complexity of the case. Investigators make every attempt to conduct personal interviews with complainants, witnesses, or employees while conducting the investigation. A criminal investigation may require the cooperation of federal or state prosecutors. The LPD will not arbitrarily delay an investigation.
4. Discipline Procedures
If the allegations involve criminal conduct on the part of the employee, an independent criminal investigation will be conducted by an outside organization. The findings of these type of investigations are forwarded to either the federal or state prosecutor for consideration of criminal charges.
If the allegation results in discipline in the form of a reprimand or a suspension of less than five days, the disciplinary process is handled through the Office of the Chief of Police.
5. City of Lockport Board of Police Commissioners
The City of Lockport Board of Police Commissioners exercises jurisdiction over the certification for appointment, promotion, discipline, removal/termination, demotion, and suspensions of more than five days of those appointed as Lockport Police officers. The Board of Police Commissioners is comprised of three members appointed by the Mayor.
When the Chief of Police files a complaint with the Board of Police Commissioners requesting discipline exceeding five days or discharge from the department, the Board will conduct a public hearing. The Board will listen to testimony and review evidence regarding the specific complaint. The complainant and witnesses may be subpoenaed to testify at such a hearing. The Board renders its decision, which is based on a preponderance of the evidence, after the hearing.
6. Employee Rights
When a Lockport Police officer is the subject of an investigation which could result in discipline, the officer is afforded certain rights. A copy of the signed complaint is provided to the officer who is the subject of the investigation prior to his/her administrative interview. An officer who receives discipline may appeal the decision.
7. Notification to Complainant
When the investigation into a complaint is concluded, the complainant will be notified by a letter of the findings. The letter will not specify the exact nature of the disposition, but it will indicate whether the employee’s actions were found to be appropriate. If there is disciplinary action, the letter will state appropriate corrective measures have been taken.