Conduct & Professionalism
The Savannah State University Police Department is responsible for protecting Students, Faculty, Staff, and visitors, detecting crime, regulating traffic, and dealing with a variety of University problems. The Internal Affairs Bureau was established for the purpose of investigating allegations of improper conduct by members of the Department. Upon receipt of a citizen complaint every effort is made to ensure a thorough, fair and timely investigation of the allegation(s) contained in the complaint.
In most instances, we believe Savannah State University Police officers work in partnership with Students, Faculty, Staff, and visitors and that our contacts with the Students, Faculty, Staff, and visitors are positive. To insure we function efficiently while maintaining the rights of the Students, Faculty, Staff, and visitors we protect, Savannah State University Police Officers are trained to follow a series of policies and procedures, and work within the guidelines of local, state, and federal laws. Because of the nature of law enforcement, we also understand that Students, Faculty, Staff, and visitors on occasion may object to the actions of the police, or may feel their conduct is inappropriate. Therefore, we have established procedures for citizens to report their concerns to the Internal Affairs Bureau.
How to File a Complaint
As a Students, Faculty, Staff, and visitors , you are encouraged to contact the Police Department if you have a complaint about the actions of a police officer or non-sworn employee if you believe their conduct was inappropriate or that they have violated the law. The staff of the Internal Affairs Bureau can answer questions about actions of officers, initiate a complaint against an officer, and conduct investigations of police conduct. Although we encourage Students, Faculty, Staff, and visitors to report police misconduct, complaints must be made in good faith. False or highly exaggerated complaints serve no good purpose for either the citizens or the officer and only tend to thwart our complaint-taking process. Anyone who willfully makes any false accusation for the purpose of discrediting a police officer may be prosecuted under Georgia Crimes Code.
To initiate a complaint, you may contact the Internal Affairs Division.
The Internal Affairs Division is open from 8:00 A.M. to 4:30 P.M. and may be reached by telephone at 912-358-3001 or 912-358-3002.
You may also visit the following website to make your complaint.
If you choose to visit this site, please include as much detail as possible, including the date, time, and location of the incident, the identities of the officer(s) involved if known, and a statement of the circumstances surrounding your complaint. You must also include your name and a telephone number so an investigator may contact you if further information or clarification is needed.
You will be asked to provide a statement of your complaint with as much detail concerning the incident and why you believe the officers conduct is inappropriate.
The Complaint Process
Every citizen complaint is reviewed by the Internal Affairs Division Commander. If the complaint is of conduct that would violate police procedures or laws, an investigation will occur. Some complaints are referred to the shift supervisors of the officer(s) involved. They will investigate the complaint. Investigators will interview the concerned parties and witnesses, record their statements, and gather other relevant data. The completed investigation will be forwarded to the Internal Affairs Division Commander, who reviews the investigation, recommends corrective action on sustained complaints, and forwards the completed investigation to the Chief of Police. When the investigation is completed you will be notified of the disposition of the complaint.
- Unfounded: The investigation indicates the acts complained of did not occur or did not involve SSU Police personnel.
- Exonerated: The investigation indicates the alleged act(s) did occur but were within the policies, procedures and guidelines as set forth by the Department.
- Not Sustained: The investigation failed to disclose sufficient evidence to clearly prove or disprove the allegations made.Sustained:?The investigation discloses sufficient evidence to clearly prove the allegation made in the complaint.
- Sustained: When a complaint against an officer is sustained, the report is sent to the Chief of Police of the involved officer for appropriate action. Discipline for infractions can occur in the following manner:
- Training and/or counseling
- Suspension from duty without pay
- Termination from the department
- Criminal Prosecution
What happens if an allegation cannot be proven or is not true
Police officers must be accorded certain rights, the same as with all citizens, and complaints must be supported by sufficient evidence. If there is not sufficient evidence to sustain the complaint, the officer and complainant are notified of the outcome of the investigation and the officer continues on duty. In the event of a sustained allegation, the complainant may be required to appear as a witness at a hearing committee, who will hear all evidence in the matter and determine guilt or innocence.