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Home > Community Info

Compliments/Complaints/Concerns

How May I Compliment the UMPD?

Policing is not always an easy job. Sometimes officers provide services that are requested and appreciated. On other occasions, officers interact with citizens in very stressful situations or hold people accountable for violation of law. The officers of the University of Minnesota Police Department (UMPD) strive to serve in a professional, courteous, and equitable manner. UMPD officers frequently receive thanks from members of the community. It is always greatly appreciated when the public we serve takes time to commend an officer for a compassionate act or a job well done.


If you would like to compliment the conduct and/or actions of a UMPD officer or staff member, contact the UMPD at 612-624-COPS (2677) and inform the supervisor on duty. You may also submit your compliments in writing via our e-mail address (police@umn.edu)or by using the following mailing address:

University of Minnesota Police Department
Attn: Chief Greg Hestness
511 Washington Avenue SE, #100
Minneapolis, MN 55455

Praise from citizens may form the basis of department commendations and review by the UMPD Awards and Recognition Committee.

What About Addressing Concerns or Complaints?

If you have other concerns or think a UMPD officer has acted improperly, respectfully request to speak to the officerís supervisor or request the officerís name and badge number. Please do not get involved in a confrontation; you may address your concerns with UMPD supervisors and command staff.

How are concerns brought to the UMPDís attention?

You are encouraged to speak with the UMPD memberís immediate supervisor or lieutenant for a possible resolution. They can be reached by contacting the University of Minnesota Police Department at 612-624-COPS (2677) and asking for the on-duty supervisor. Concerns are quite often resolved at this level, providing a better understanding of the issue, a timely, and more satisfactory outcome.

Does raising concerns address my citation or arrest?

No, this is NOT a forum to challenge a citation or an arrest. That must be determined in a court of-law.

What if my issue is not resolved?

If you are not satisfied with the resolution developed at this stage, you may consider filing a written, signed complaint about the matter.

How are written complaints filed and what do I have to do as the complainant?

A written complaint may be initiated:

  • by phone...call the UMPD at 612-624-COPS (2677) and speak with the appropriate supervisor or lieutenant to discuss the incident.  A written complaint form can be mailed to you; or
  • in person...schedule an appointment with the officer’s supervisor or lieutenant to discuss your issue and file a formal complaint, if necessary.

Written complaints require a full explanation of your encounter with the police officer(s), including date, time, and location.  By law, complaints must be signed by the complainant. The identities and contact information for any witnesses with direct knowledge of the alleged misconduct should be provided.

A preliminary evaluation will be made to provide the chief of police with sufficient information to determine if there are grounds for a formal investigation to proceed.  For example, there are a number of law enforcement agencies working in the university area and we must be sure you are addressing the issue with the appropriate agency. 

If there are preliminary grounds to believe misconduct by UMPD members may have occurred, an investigation will be conducted.

What happens to the complaint?

The UMPD investigations lieutenant normally conducts internal affairs investigations.  The internal affairs investigator, working within the Peace Officer Discipline Procedures Act, will interview any witnesses, the officer(s) involved, conduct a follow-up interview with the complainant (if necessary), and collect all evidence.  Should the complainant or witnesses decline to participate, the investigator may proceed based on available information.

How are formal complaints resolved?

Upon completion of the investigation, the investigative report, including recommendations, are forwarded to the chief of police for disposition. The chief of police may decide a complaint of misconduct has been sustained (proven), not-sustained (not proven), or exonerated (the action took place but was lawful and proper). Findings are based on whether the officer(s) violated any UMPD or University policies and/or procedures.

Will I be notified of the disposition?

Yes, you will be notified of the chiefs’ decision in writing.  You may review the findings with the investigator.

Is there a penalty for a false complaint of police misconduct?

Yes, Minnesota State Statute, 609.505 Subdivision 2, provides that filing a false report of police misconduct with a law enforcement agency is a criminal offense.

This state statute is not meant to inhibit the redress of legitimate complaints, only to discourage intentionally bringing false complaints against law enforcement personnel.

What Should You Do if Stopped by the Police?

University of Minnesota Police Officers have a difficult and stressful job in enforcing the law, and sometimes dealing with persons who are hostile or violent.  The officer you encounter probably does not know you personally, and may approach you with caution to ensure your safety as well as his or her own. You are expected to treat an officer in the same manner the officer is expected to treat you; with courtesy and respect.

If reasonable suspicion exists, police officers have the authority to conduct a limited search of your person for concealed weapons.  In this situation, you should remain calm and follow the officer’s instructions carefully.

If you are in a car and see flashing red and/or blue lights on a police car behind you, you should:

  • Slow down
  • Activate turn signal to indicate compliance
  • Pull over as soon as it is safe into a well lit area and out of the path of other traffic
  • Answer officer’s questions calmly and with consideration.  Do not argue with, challenge, ignore, or be offensive to the officer.

 

Keep in mind the officer is only doing his/her job and is working within established guidelines when making contact with citizens.

 

 
 

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Last Modified: October 10, 2008
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