Complaint Policy

The Mahwah Police Department is concerned about the level of police service provided to the community by our members. Through a continual program of in-service training and specialized seminars, members receive year-round instruction designed to improve their skills, and thus, improve the service provided to our community. There will be times when citizens observe police conduct that is questionable. 

Citizens must be able to bring their legitimate concerns regarding police actions to the attention of the department for review. Concerns over police actions are sometimes based on a misunderstanding of police policy and procedure or the law. Our supervisors are happy to discuss your concerns and explain a member's actions in a given situation. Other times, malicious and false complaints are filed by individuals with a grudge against an officer for making an arrest or issuing a traffic citation. It is the responsibility of the Police Department to address all complaints and differentiate between false complaints and legitimate concerns. In fairness to our employee those citizens who make false allegations against police officers may be subject to criminal prosecution.

Registering a Complaint

A complaint may be filed by any individual.  Anonymous complaints are accepted with the understanding that a follow up investigation is more difficult when the complainant is unknown. Complaints may be registered at the Police Department via phone, regular mail or fax -OR- by using the website form below.  Citizens have the option to download and complete the complaint form, and either drop it off, mail it, or fax it to 201.831.2069.

A complaint form, will include a sworn statement of the facts known to the person at that time.

Once received, all complaints are forwarded to Internal Affairs for review. Whenever possible, minor allegations are assigned to the member's supervisor for investigation.



Investigative Process

Once a complaint has been received, the investigation begins. This includes sworn statements from all witnesses and the collection of evidence. Investigations are conducted under the stringent guidelines of the New Jersey Attorney General’s Office.

All investigative reports are reviewed by the Internal Affairs to ensure completeness and objectivity prior to the case being closed. Reports must not reflect any personal opinion, but rather present an unbiased picture of the facts.

The final report is forwarded to the Chief of Police for evaluation and recommendations. Appropriate disciplinary action is taken, if necessary.

Those who have filed a complaint are notified by Internal Affairs, via mail, of the final disposition of the complaint.

 

Dispositions

The disposition of a complaint is classified as follows:

  • Sustained - Allegation is supported by sufficient evidence.

  • Not Sustained - Not guilty by insufficient evidence to prove or disprove the allegation.

  • Exonerated - Incident occurred but the member acted lawfully and/or properly.

  • Unfounded - Incident did not occur or employee was not involved.

Discipline

There are several types of corrective actions which can be recommended for a sustained complaint.

  • Training

  • Formal Warning

  • Formal Reprimand

  • Suspension

  • Demotion

  • Termination

 

For more information on the complaint process or if you need assistance in filing a citizen complaint, please contact:

Internal Affairs
201.529.1000 Ext. 241 or
201.831.2041



Allegation of Mahwah Police Officer Employee Misconduct

The Mahwah Police Department has established an Internal Affairs to ensure a long standing tradition of prompt and professional service. If our employees act outside the scope of the Mahwah Police Department rules, regulations, policies, procedures, or state or federal civil and/or criminal law and evidence of misconduct is determined, appropriate administrative or criminal processes will be implemented in accordance with New Jersey Attorney General Guidelines.

You can submit via the web form below or you may download the form and mail it in.

The following information, some of which is critical for a successful investigation of your complaint, will also be used for statistical purposes. Specific information is necessary to ensure a prompt and thorough investigation. However, this form is not required in order for your complaint to be processed. Mail the completed form to the address listed below. You may also file your complaint by contacting Lieutenant Harry Hunt at 201-831-2041.

 
 

ONLINE

Please complete the form below

Complainant's Name *
Complainant's Name
Please provide your name
Your Address *
Your Address
Daytime Phone *
Daytime Phone
Evening Phone *
Evening Phone
Best time to contact you *
Best time to contact you
 

MAIL OR FAX

Download, print, complete the form and mail to:

Mahwah Police Department
Attn: Lieutenant Harry Hunt
221 Franklin Turnpike
Mahwah, New Jersey 07430

Or FAX to: 201-831-2069