Complaint Process

Complaint Process

The Office of Professional Standards (OPS) has the responsibility of receiving and investigating non-criminal complaints filed by members of the public against sworn and non-sworn Cleveland Division of Police employees.

Citizen complaints may be filed in person at the Office of Professional Standards (OPS), or by U.S. mail, email, or facsimile to OPS. Citizen complaints may also be filed at the Cleveland Division of Police (CDP) Headquarters, any of the five (5) CDP District Stations, Cleveland City Hall, or Director of Public Safety’s Action Center (DAC). All citizen complaints are identified by an OPS file tracking number and then assigned to a civilian Investigator.

Once a file tracking number is designated and the complaint is assigned to a civilian investigator, a preliminary review is conducted. If during the preliminary review it is determined that potential criminal conduct or activity may have occurred, then OPS refers the complaint to the Internal Affairs Unit of CDP. If there is no alleged criminal conduct or activity, then OPS will conduct the investigation. During the course of the investigation, the complainant and any potential witnesses are interviewed, and the assignment and duty reports of the Officer(s) involved, as well as all relevant documentation, are reviewed. The Officer(s) involved is required to respond to the allegations contained in the complaint.

At the conclusion of the investigation, it is reviewed and approved by the OPS Administrator, who then forwards it to the Civilian Police Review Board (CPRB). The CPRB reviews all completed investigations conducted by OPS, deliberates, and then determines if a civil violation of policy, training, or rules and regulations occurred. If the CPRB determines that a violation did occur, then it sustains the complaint and accordingly recommends the appropriate discipline to either the Chief of Police or the Director of Public Safety.

When the CPRB recommends discipline, a pre-disciplinary hearing is conducted in which OPS presents its investigation to either the Chief of Police or the Director of Public Safety, or his designated hearing officer. The Officer(s) involved, who is present along with his/her union representative(s), has the opportunity to respond to the charges filed against him/her. The Chief of Police or the Director of Public Safety makes the final decision whether or not to impose discipline against the Officer(s) who was the subject of the citizen complaint.

Filing A Complaint

Any person wishing to file a complaint against a member of the Cleveland Division of Police can do so by using one of the options below:

  • Complete and Submit the complaint form online
  • Download the complaint form (PDF), complete it, and send it to OPS through: a) email at, b) fax at (216) 420-8764, or c) US mail at 205 West St. Clair Ave., Suite 301, Cleveland, Ohio 44113
  • By Phone at (216) 664-2944 (an OPS investigator will assist you in filling a complaint over the phone) 
  • In-Person at the Office of Professional Standards, 205 W. St. Clair Ave., Suite 301, Cleveland, OH 44113
  • You can also find complaint forms to complete at the Cleveland Division of Police Headquarters, all five Cleveland Division of Police District Stations, as well as Cleveland City Hall (601 Lakeside Ave, Cleveland, OH 44114).

Check Complaint Status

Use the Complaint Status Check page to check the status of a previously filed complaint: