Administrative Contact: Lieutenant Joe Bickel
It is the policy of the Carmel Police Department to appropriately investigate all allegations of employee misconduct.
A complaint may be filed in person, by telephone, by email or by letter 24 hours a day, 365 days per year.
For your convenience, we also provided an electronic form to initiate a complaint.
Download the form, provide the information requested, send and someone will be in touch if additional information is needed.
If we are doing something wrong, the complaint will help the department recognize and ultimately rectify the wrongdoing.
This Frequently Asked Questions page explains how you can file a complaint and how your complaint will be addressed.
How do I initiate a complaint against an Officer?
A complaint may be initiated in person, by telephone, by letter or by email. Complaints can be filed 24 hours a day with the police shift commander. During regular business hours, other administrative personnel are also available to take a complaint.
If I am under 18 years old, do I have the right to file a complaint?
Yes, just have a parent, legal guardian or a responsible adult present with you.
Must I give my name in order to file a complaint?
No. However, anonymous complaints can be very difficult to investigate and thus the conclusion might not be what you expected. Also, if the investigation results in a criminal action against the officer, you may be subpoenaed into court for a successful prosecution.
Will the Officer know that I have made a complaint?
Yes, the officer will be advised of the allegations made against him or her and, if the complainant has identified himself, the identity of the person making the allegation will be provided to the officer.
Who is responsible for the investigation of the complaint?
The Deputy Chief of Police is responsible for the administration of internal investigations. Certain allegations, such as corruption, brutality, criminal violations etc., require a formal internal affairs investigation. Complaints of a lesser nature may be investigated by a police supervisor outside the employee's chain of command. The Department could also utilize other agencies to investigate criminal allegations against the officer. The disposition of all investigations are forwarded to the Assistant Chief of Police.
What will happen to the Officer?
If the investigation reveals misconduct, the officer will be disciplined according to the seriousness of the rules violation. Disciplinary actions range from oral reprimand to suspension and in extreme cases, termination. If the allegation is criminal in nature, the case will be presented to the Hamilton County prosecutor's Office for review and action. Other appropriate remedies include policy change and retraining.
Need I be concerned about possible retaliation for making a complaint against an Officer?
Absolutely not! It is essential that public confidence be maintained which enhances the ability of the Department to investigate and properly adjudicate complaints against it's members. An employee who retaliates against you as a result of the filing of a complaint is subject to disciplinary action up to and including dismissal from the Department.
How long will the investigation take?
Minor complaints are often handled immediately. As a general rule, the investigation of serious charges should be concluded within thirty (30) days unless the circumstances necessitate additional time.
Will I be notified of the results of the Department's investigation?
Once the investigation has been concluded, the Assistant Chief of Police will inform you in writing of the results if you have identified yourself when making the complaint.
What if I am not satisfied with the results of the Department's investigation?
Any person who believes that his/her allegations have not been taken seriously, investigated thoroughly or resolved satisfactorily by the Department may submit a letter stating his or her concerns to the Carmel City Attorney who, after investigation, shall notify the Board of Public Works and Safety in Executive Session. The BPWS would review the information and decide if the complaint required additional attention.
What if I file a false complaint?
If you believe the complaint to be valid and the officer is ultimately exonerated, the case will be ended. However, if it is determined that the complaint was intentionally false and malicious, you may be subject to criminal charges or a civil suit.