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Filing a Complaint: Notifications

After filing a complaint, the Sheriff’s Department will mail a letter acknowledging receipt of the complaint at the mailing address you provide. The initial notification letter will indicate that the department will conduct an investigation and inform you of the disposition.

Upon the completion of the investigation, the Department will mail a letter explaining the disposition and outcome. At times, the disposition letters can be difficult to understand and may be found unsatisfying. The privacy rights afforded to officers inevitably restrict the communication that can occur between the Sheriff’s Department and complainants. Although the letter does not specify any particulars on the case, the process, and the efforts the Department took in investigating, it does provide OIR’s contact information as a resource.

OIR has found that the disposition terms can create confusion and frustration. Below are definitions to the most common disposition terms. 

Exonerated - The investigation revealed that the act(s) did occur, but the actions were justifiable, lawful and proper.

Not Sustained - The investigation did not have sufficient evidence to prove or disprove the allegation(s) made.

Sustained - The investigation had sufficient evidence to prove some or all of the allegations.

Unfounded - The investigation indicated that the alleged act(s) did not occur.