How to officially commend or complain about an employee of the Pasco Sheriff’s Office
Office Commendations: It is the policy of the Pasco Sheriff’s Office to recognize exceptional law enforcement and detention service through the formal use of commendations. This applies for both certified (sworn deputies) and civilian personnel.
The following list identifies the ways you may express your appreciation for excellent or superior service/performance.
* Ask to speak to the member’s supervisor or member of the Professional Standards Unit and verbally communicate your praise.
* You can write a letter to the Sheriff describing the superior service and/or performance.
* You can email Lindy Nowicki, at email@example.com. (Please refrain from using email to report crimes or incidents in progress. The email address is monitored during weekday business hours only).
Letters and emails received by the Sheriff will be forwarded to the employee in order to extend your gratitude, and a copy will be placed in the member’s Professional Standards file. The member’s performance will also be recognized by the Sheriff and may be considered for other Sheriff’s Office awards or community recognition.
If You Wish to File a Complaint:
A proper relationship, fostered by confidence and trust between the Pasco Sheriff’s Office and the citizen’s of Pasco County, is essential to effective law enforcement and detention service. The function of the Professional Standards Unit is to foster this relationship and provide the citizens of Pasco County a fair and effective means for lodging legitimate complaints against Sheriff’s Office employees. The complaint procedure and disciplinary process not only subjects the employee to corrective action following any improper conduct, it also protects the employee from criticism when they properly discharge their duty.
Some types of misconduct are:
* Excessive/unnecessary force
* Misuse of authority
* Neglect of duty
* Improper personal conduct
* Any unlawful conduct
Although citizen comments are frequently based upon misunderstandings of the law or Sheriff’s Office General Orders, they are of great concern and can lead to a mistrust of law enforcement if not investigated or explained. While the Pasco Sheriff’s Office encourages citizens to report legitimate complaints of misconduct, it also expects that citizens will not file frivolous, vindictive, or false complaints against employees who have properly performed their duties. State law prohibits the intentional filing of a false report to law enforcement and also prohibits anyone from lying under oath. Please click here to review Florida Statute 112 which addresses complaints against officers.
Complaints of misconduct can be accepted by any employee or supervisor. The Complainant may also contact the Professional Standards Unit directly (see below). Complaints may be made in person at any of our district offices, at the Professional Standards Unit’s office, by telephone, or letter. During non-business hours, complaints should be directed to the member’s supervisor.
Complaint Investigation and Disposition Process
If your complaint or concern cannot be resolved to your satisfaction by the employee’s supervisor, or involves a serious violation of Sheriff’s Office General Orders, it will be forwarded to the Professional Standards Unit for review and assignment. The investigation will be handled by either a detective with the Professional Standards Unit or a supervisor in the employee’s chain of command.
All complaints involving violations of Sheriff’s Office General Orders will be accepted and investigated. The extent of the investigation will depend upon the nature of the complaint, whether the source of the information can be identified or the accuracy verified, the seriousness of the allegations and the number of persons involved in the incident.
The Administrative Investigative Report will contain the facts of the case in order to present an unbiased picture of the incident as it actually occurred and will not reflect the opinions of the investigator. The report is forwarded through the employee’s chain of command for review and recommendation. If the allegation is sustained, the report is forwarded to the Sheriff (or his designee) for final determination.
To print a complaint form that you can deliver to the Professional Standards Units, please click here. Ensure that you complete the yellow highlighted areas, including having the form notarized. Bring the notarized form to 8700 Citizen Drive address or mail it to 8700 Citizen Drive, New Port Richey, FL 34654 Attn: Professional Standards Section.
The disposition of all complaints are classified as follows:
* Unsubstantiated – A finding or conclusion that sufficient credible evidence was lacking to prove or disprove the allegation.
* Sustained – A finding or conclusion that an allegation is supported by a preponderance of evidence.
* Unfounded – A finding or conclusion that an allegation is demonstrably without basis.
* Exonerated – A finding or conclusion the incident occurred, but the individual’s actions were lawful and proper.
* Both the affected member of the Sheriff’s Office and the complainant will be notified of the final disposition of the complaint.
What happens to the complaint?
- Complaint initiated
- Investigator assigned to the complaint
- Factual report prepared
- Chain of Command review and recommendation by employee’s supervisors
- Sheriff (or designee) for final disposition
- Disposition outcome revealed
- Employee pre-disciplinary hearing
- Complainant notification of outcome
- Employee appeal process
Where is the Pasco Sheriff’s Office Professional Standards Unit?
For in-person complaints:
Office of the Sheriff
Professional Standards Unit
8700 Citizen Drive
New Port Richey, FL 34654
Phone (727) 815-7117
Office Hours: Monday – Friday 8:00 am to 5:00 pm (Closed Legal Holidays)
Non-Emergency Dispatch: (727) 844-7711
Patrol District Commanders:
(Hudson) District (I): (727) 844-7713
(East patrol) District (II): (352) 518-5060
(Trinity) District (III): (727) 376-3809
Detention Bureau Commander: (813) 235-6000
Criminal Investigations Bureau Commander: (727) 844-7763
Administrative Bureau Commander: (727) 844-7718