The Salisbury Police Department’s goals include improving the quality of services provided to our community, promoting a high level of public confidence, and enhancing the professional integrity of the department and its members. The members of the Salisbury Police Department perform their duties within the boundaries of established contemporary legal and ethical standards and continuously look for ways to improve performance. Information learned through the complaint process will be used to assist the department in providing the best services possible for our community.
The department uses a formal process to accept and refer or investigate civilian complaints. This provides a way to identify and track personnel performance matters, identify training needs, evaluate and update policy and procedure in an on-going effort to advance professional municipal policing services being provided by the department.
It is the policy of the department to accept, document, review, and refer or investigate all instances of alleged misconduct. The focus of the investigation is to determine whether the allegations are valid or not valid and to take appropriate action. When the internal investigation is completed the investigating supervisor or the investigating IA commander shall issue a written report and recommendation. The recommendation shall classify the complaint as follows:
- Sustained: The allegation is supported by sufficient evidence.
- Not Sustained: Insufficient evidence whether to prove or disprove the allegation.
- Exonerated: Incident complained about occurred, but was lawful and proper.
- Unfounded: Allegation is false or not factual.
- Policy Failure: The allegation is true; the action of the agency or the officer was consistent with agency policy.
All allegations of misconduct will be investigated, regardless of whether initiated by civilian complaint, members of external agencies, internally generated, or discovered through the internal review and administrative processes of the department.
Procedures for Filing a Complaint Against Police Personnel
- Complaints may be filed electronically on this webpage.
- If you choose not to submit an electronic Complaint form, paper copies of the Complaint forms are located at the following locations:
- Salisbury Police Department, 699 West Salisbury Parkway, Salisbury MD 21801,
- Government Office Building 125 N Division Street, Salisbury MD 21801,
- Wicomico County Library 122 S. Division Street, Salisbury MD 21801.
- Completed paper Complaint forms must be submitted to the Salisbury Police Department in person or via U.S. Postal Service.
- Individuals filing paper Complaint forms (either in person or via U.S. Postal Service) shall receive a Receipt of Complaint. Persons filing complaints electronically shall receive an electronic receipt.
- Once a complaint is filed, you can expect to be contacted by an agency representative to discuss your complaint within 72 hours of the case being assigned for investigation.
- Complaints against personnel do not need to be notarized, except where the complaint is alleging brutality.
- Brutality complaints can be made by the aggrieved person, an immediate family member of the aggrieved person, or by any person who witnessed the incident, or by a parent or guardian where the aggrieved is a minor child.
- Brutality complaints must be filed and notarized within 366 days of the alleged occurrence. Notary services are available through the Salisbury Police Department in the event a complainant is unable to obtain such services.
- Complaints can be made anonymously; however, complaints received anonymously may hinder our ability to investigate the complaint fully.
- Investigations can take up to 90 days to complete.
- Complainants should expect to receive updates or notifications in 30 day intervals, at a minimum.
- Some complaints may qualify for our Police Complaint Mediation Program.
- Click HERE for further information regarding the departmental policy on the Complaint Procedure.