Law enforcement officers must accept and abide by a high ethical and moral standard that is consistent with the rule of law they are sworn to uphold. This includes consistently employing propriety and discretion in their personal lives that reflects favorably on themselves as professionals and the law enforcement agency that they represent. The standards of conduct embodied in the law enforcement officer’s code of ethics and an agency’s statement of values and mission, so that officers have a clear understanding of agency expectations pertaining to conduct and activities while on and off duty.
Professional Standards establishes uniform guidelines for supervisors and Professional Standards members to conduct inquiries and formal investigations of member conduct, whether the complaint is initiated by a citizen or an agency member, in a complete, fair, and timely manner.
The Professional Standards Unit is responsible for conducting or overseeing the investigation of all complaints of misconduct brought against any member of the Apopka Police Department and reviewing all applications of defensive action by police officers. The Apopka Police Department understands that a thorough and unbiased investigation into any allegations of misconduct ensure the integrity of the Department and inspires confidence from the community that we serve. Department procedures define two types of complaints against its members: informal and formal.
Informal complaints are minor and are usually disagreements or misunderstandings about procedural issues. Most complaints against the members of the Department can be resolved using an informal investigative process when the member's immediate supervisor handles these issues. During an informal complaint investigation, the supervisor meets or speaks with the complaining party, the accused member, and then determines the appropriate action to take to resolve the complaint.
Formal complaints are generated directly from an individual or those made anonymously. The formal complaint packet is forwarded to the Internal Affairs investigator for initial review. Depending on the nature of the complaint, the Internal Affairs Unit may turn the investigation over to the member's supervisor or upon the direction of the Chief of Police, conduct the investigation themselves. Once the investigation is completed, the results of the investigation, along with any recommendations, are forwarded to the Chief of Police. Depending on the complexity of the investigation, the process can take some time and the complainant will be notified by the Chief of Police of the disposition of the complaint in writing.