Building and maintaining community trust is the cornerstone of successful policing and law enforcement. The building and maintenance of trust takes a great deal of continuous effort. The Office of Professional Standards (OPS) is the primary method of reassuring the community that the police can and will aggressively address and resolve unethical behavior. Therefore the mission of the OPS division of the Niagara Falls Police Department is to establish and maintain an ethical, accountable culture with the police department that reflects the core values and guiding principles of the organization.
The purpose of the Office of Professional Standards (OPS) is to review and investigate all complaints against department employees initiated by citizens or from within the department. In addition, OPS is responsible for training officers in professional responsibility.
The Office of Professional Standards is under the direct authority of the Superintendent of Police. It is the policy of the Niagara Falls Police Department to investigate all complaints of alleged misconduct, to equitably determine whether the allegations are founded or unfounded, and to take appropriate action when necessary.
The goal and function of the Office of Professional Standards is to ensure that the integrity of the department is maintained and that objectivity, fairness and justice are pursued.
It is the policy of the Niagara Falls Police Department to investigate all complaints of alleged misconduct, to equitably determine whether the allegations are founded or unfounded, and to take appropriate action when necessary.
The standards of the Niagara Falls Police Department are among the highest in the state. Our community and the level of police service that we all benefit from, can best prosper by your support of these standards by commendation recommendation, question or complaint.
By way of maintaining exemplary police performance and police/community relations, the Niagara Falls Police Department encourages citizen recommendations for improvement in our police services. We welcome the commendations of police personnel who admirably perform their duties, and encourage questions of complaints about the department’s performance or actions of its members.
Commending Superior Performance
If you wish to commend the actions of any Niagara Falls Police Department employee you can;
- Ask to speak with the employees supervisor and verbally express commendation, or;
- You can write a letter to the Superintendent of Police explaining your commendation.
- Superintendent of Police
1925 Main St.
Niagara Falls, New York 14302
- Superintendent of Police
Commendations received by the Superintendent of Police for actions taken by Department employees will result in advising the employee of your gratitude and appreciation. His/her actions and your appreciation will be relayed through a written commendation, a copy of which will be entered into the employee’s personnel file. Additionally, a copy will be forwarded to the Awards Committee for review and a possible commendation ribbon.
Filing a Complaint
It is normally the responsibility of the employee’s supervisor to meet with you to discuss the complaint. If the employee’s supervisor is not available or you can not meet with him/her because of scheduling, you may ask to speak with the on duty supervisor.
You will privately meet with the supervisor to discuss the complaint. The supervisor may be able to explain the officers’ actions to your satisfaction. If not, a written complaint will be completed and an investigation will be initiated. While the Niagara Falls Police Department does encourage citizens to file complaints, the complaints must be made in good faith.
Your complaint will be received politely and professionally, you will be expected to conduct yourself in a similar manner. If your conduct is considered inappropriate, the supervisor may insist you return at another time to discuss your complaint.
You will be provided with a copy of the complaint. A thorough and impartial investigation will be conducted. After the allegations are fully investigated, the Superintendent or his designee will decide what action should be taken to resolve the complaint.
Disposition After Investigation
The Superintendent of Police or his designee will decide whether the employee violated any rules, regulations or laws of the State of New York. If he determines the employee violated any of the rules or regulations, the complaint will be “sustained” and the employee will receive training, counseling or discipline. If the Superintendent learns that the employee violated New York State Law the appropriate legal action will be initiated through the District Attorney’s Office.
You, the complainant, will be notified in writing of the results. So please ensure a valid address and phone number on the complaint form.
Your complaint will be reviewed as a process of maintaining professionalism and exemplary standards of the Niagara Falls Police Department. The results will be used to implement and maintain policies, procedures, and training in the future.
City of Niagara Falls, Police Department
The City of Niagara Falls, Police Department is committed to providing the best law enforcement service possible. Citizen cooperation and participation are essential if the department is to succeed in this goal.
If you have any questions regarding our policies or a recommendation on how we can improve our services, please contact the Superintendent.