Friday, December 14, 2007

CONTRACT VIOLATION?

Ok sarge you arrive at work and the watch commander hands you a face sheet. You have read the allegation and the information provided states that 2 unk (M,F)/(white, black, Hispanic) uniformed offices searched complainants vehicle for no reason. You attempt to call the complainant on various occasions and only reach a voice mail where you leave several messages for him to contact you. You drive over to the complainants residence only to have someone answer the door who informs you "he aint around". You have sent the obligatory certified letter and track it on the USPS website. You obtain confirmation that the letter has been received and you have yet to hear from the complainant. 20 days have passed and you now need to close out this investigation. A reasonable amount of time and effort has been exhausted in the attempt to contact the complainant and to obtain a signed sworn affidavit.
Here are the facts as you know them:
1. the complainant alleges the accused are two unknown (any gender)/(any race) officers
2. the alleged incident occurred in your district
3. the complainant is uncooperative and therefore you are unable to obtain the signed sworn affidavit.
I would say this scenario typifies 9 out 10 CL numbers that I have received.

You are left with no choice but to prepare your summary digest including 4-5 attachments showing your attempts to contact complainant. The investigation is "UNFOUNDED" due to the lack of cooperation from the complainant. You send it through and it is kicked back because they want to see what you have done to identify the accused.
This is in my opinion is a major problem.

(50 ILCS 725/3.8)(b) Anyone filing a complaint against a sworn peace officer must have the complaint supported by a sworn affidavit.
In other words if the complaint is NOT supported by a signed affidavit the complaint does not exist. If the complaint does not exist they why should the accused of a non complaint be identified?

APPENDIX L
AFFIDAVITS IN DISCIPLINARY
INVESTIGATIONS

10. No officer will be required to answer any allegation
of misconduct unless it is supported by an
appropriate affidavit, except as specified in paragraphs
one through five above. In the event that
no affidavit is received within a reasonable time,
the investigation will be terminated and no record
of the complaint or investigation will appear
on the officer’s Disciplinary History.


According to the Department Advocate we must make every effort to identify the involved officers. The officers have no recourse because the allegation can not be investigated and they will have an "UNFOUNDED" disposition in their CR history. In the past that would have been acceptable, however the number of complaints against an officer in a period of time is the issue regardless of disposition. Officers are being placed in the BIS and despite what the Department says it is a form of discipline.

In the above scenario the investigating sergeant discovers by PCAD that officers made a traffic stop and our complainant was ticketed for no DL and no insurance. The complainant was placed in custody (TVB) and vehicle was searched before being towed.
Had the complainant signed the affidavit the officers would have been exonerated.
FOP and PBPA need to push to have all complaints administratively closed when they are not supported by affidavit whether the accused are named or not. Again according to 50 ILCS 725/3.8 (b) Anyone filing a complaint against a sworn peace officer must have the complaint supported by a sworn affidavit. It stands to reason that minus the affidavit the complaint does not exist.

23 comments:

Anonymous said...

All thats irrelevant if you have a heavy duty chinaman.Only the no phone call working officers will be cornholed.

Anonymous said...

I have been making the same arguement for a long time now. If there is no greivance brought, or law suit, the city will break all the rules they can.

Anonymous said...

Every officer has to check his/her file for these allegations (I have handled dozens) and file a greivance. I have had officers come up to me and ask me when they got a number (after they get the unfounded half sheet) and all I can tell them is, "I don't have a clue, but at least it was unfounded." That's bullshit and it has to stop. Every bargaining unit should grieve this at the same time and be done with it. If not, the FOP will roll over for 1/8th of a percent raise in trade for a 4% increase in insurance, and our reps will all agree to it. Time for this shit to stop. EVRYONE LISTEN!!!!! GO TO IAD AND ASK FOR YOUR DISCIPLINARY FILE. NOT YOUR PERSONELL FILE BECAUSE THAT ONLY HAS YOR BULLSHIT CHANGE OF FUCKING ADDRESS CARDS IN IT. GET YOUR DISCIPLINARY FILE. If there is any unfounded allegations, file a grievance. Anyone in B.A. file one now....

Anonymous said...

I was always told (and had every number kicked back) that I HAD TO IDENTIFY and officer. When it was 2 brown hair white guys, Identify one or both of the officers as offenders. A bunch of cars at a job, pick one. Two black officers, pick one...etc. Total bullshit, but we can't grieve someone else getting a number. For us, it is administrative paperwork. For the officer (notice I did not say accused!!!!!!!!) It is livelyhood and reputation. Fuck this. Grieve it. PLEASE!!!

Anonymous said...

Yeah, like our union cares

Anonymous said...

After getting an unfounded due to no affidavit I asked if there was any way to find out what the accusation was and was told there wasnt. Yet it is a CL# that is going to stick with me and I have no idea what the allegation was or who even made the complaint. The city is bending over backwards to use anything against us.
Is there any appointment needed or can I stroll into IAD and see it?

Anonymous said...

the dept advocate did say that we need to attempt to identify the officer, but not by bullshit means, iad claimed they wouldnt identify unless they were sure, but they were told it is the c/o's and deputy chiefs making us identify the officers by any means. as usual the exempts and their little bitches get away with murder and the working copper gets the shaft, big shock let's see if the new guy changes things for the better or if it is just the same ole song.

Anonymous said...

why don't you as sgts put in your report that you are unable to identify the accused? let the c/o's and d/c's find out for themselves.

Anonymous said...

WE NEED TO FIGHT THIS ONE HARD !!!


FOP your up to bat and it's the bottom of the ninth with 2outs

Anonymous said...

They should simply add a box on the digest that says

IDENTIFIED BUT NOT ACCUSED_____________________

If the officer was named there it would not be part of his record.

The theory is that if the officer's conduct forms a pattern the behavior can still be corrected BEFORE it is a serious disciplinary or criminal problem. Also I think everyone is forgetting that there are instances where the Deputy can over ride the need for an affidavit.

Anonymous said...

There is still a provision of General Order 93-3 that says (excuse me if I don't get the quote exactly): "When the preliminary investigator determines that the complaint is totally without merit, the investigation must be terminated immediately".

When I get a beef like this, I look up 93-3, get the exact section number and quote it.

So far, it has worked every time. I have a stand-up commander though and I know a lot of guys don't, but give it a try, you can't do any worse.

Anonymous said...

why don't you as sgts put in your report that you are unable to identify the accused? let the c/o's and d/c's find out for themselves.

Sat Dec 15, 09:26:00 PM

most of us do every time and is kicked back by the c/o or d/c. then they look at the complaint log and see there is a beat or car #, kick back the com log and then TELL us to identify the accused and any possible witness we can figure out. all sgt's know that at the exempt rank if they want it done they just have to include a to from, but it is easier for them to order us. were in a catch 22 because we can just say we cant id. them but if there is a car or beat number then we can identify someone and if we fail to do so then we can get sparred, counseled, etc for failing to not properly investigate or some other bullshit reason they chose to come up with.

Anonymous said...

why don't you as sgts put in your report that you are unable to identify the accused? let the c/o's and d/c's find out for themselves.

Sat Dec 15, 09:26:00 PM

nope..tried that..doesn't work.

Anonymous said...

All of this is accurate with regard to CR investigations. Sgt's are being required to identify the accused absent a sworn affidavit. In essence, we are all being required to break the law in are adminstrative function. By who you ask? The bosses who run the Chicago Police Department. Yes, CPD requires it's front line supervisors to break the law. Moreover, IAD is investigating CR allegations absent a sworn affidavit, and a grievance has been filed.

Anonymous said...

Uh, well,

I would identify the officer with the half sheet, then I on the recomendations section I would list the alleged violation and recommend exoneration because there were valid tickets written for bonafide traffic offenses and all procedures had been followed.
I have done this several times and it has made it through. Now if we change the fact set to add an allegation of damage during the search then that count only would be unfounded for failure to contact. Don't see the identification as such a big deal as long as they approved the recommended exoneration.

Anonymous said...

We do put Unknown. They get kicked back repeatedly and we are told we HAVE to identify someone if there is any wayto do it. Had this argument numerous times and I always lost. My take is, If the officer has never been named or no personal Identifyers that match his/her description (Car number with more than one partner doesn't count) than we shouldn't identify. We can't name an offender in a case report for theft even if they were the last person in the room with the item that went missing if that person wasn't seen taking it and if a significant amount of time has past we must conduct a line-up to verify identity of te offender. Same as a CR to me...But we aways lose. We, as Sgt's, have no basis for a grievance. We personally are not being harmed...(by precident, yes, but not by the naming of an officer.)

Anonymous said...

Try passing anything through in A/1 w.Dep Dugan & his Sgt. Scanlon. CR's are a joke, a separate to/from for everyone phone call or letter sent, po's must be identified w/o affidavit, after calls and cert. letter he wants you to call again. Any inspectors beef/court deviation will be kicked back w/o a SPAR, no counseling, no verbal admonishments, no excuses....just give the coppers time. Even his SPARS must be sent to him w/o the copper ever seeing it, then when he approves it, he sends it back to you to have the copper approve it, so good luck with a hearing with the D/C if DD has already given you a day.

Anonymous said...

Off Topic: Should Sgt's be representing Patrolmen on the F.O.P. board of directors?
Sgt's your thoughts on this???

SECOND CITY SARGE said...

Only in matters that are fraternal and not contractual.

Area 3 Sgts said...

Try passing anything through in A/1 w.Dep Dugan & his Sgt. Scanlon.

We were very happy to see them head south.

Anonymous said...

Here's another question... When we explain that the complainant won't sign, or have a signed "letter of declinataion" why do we have to include a blank affidavit in the package? Seems like a waste of paper. Is anyone else required to do this or was this just dreamed up by Sgt Keating CCG

Anonymous said...

What would be the point of attaching a blank affadavit?

Anonymous said...

There are very good points brought up. If you check the IAD inter-department web site you find submitting a sworn affidavit form in all log packets and attempting to identify the accused officers is department policy established by the Internal Affairs Division's Department Advocate. The Unions need to step up to force the department to change policy.
Also, the policy is to attempt to identify the accused. Often the accused can't be identified without the cooperation of the complainant - give physical description, view photo lineup, etc. The investigator needs to document why the complainant's cooperation is crucial in the identification of the accused and without the cooperation the accused will be unknown.

Please keep in mind that this is an open blog
that can and is read by people other than Chicago Police Officers.