Letter to the editor

Explaining UPD misconduct cases

I am writing in response to the column “Transparency in UPD misconduct Cases” (Dec. 8, p. 4). I want to offer information about the George Washington University Police Department’s complaint process to your readers.

As an accredited law enforcement agency, the department performs thorough internal investigations into allegations of misconduct. The International Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators and the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies accredit GWPD. Both of these well regarded organizations ensure the department maintains proper procedures by auditing departmental policies and investigations.

Furthermore, the Metropolitan Police Department’s Security Officer’s Management Branch is the government agency responsible for issuing commissions to campus police officers. They too can take administrative action if they find misconduct regarding an officer’s actions.

Our goal is to complete investigations of alleged misconduct within 15 days, during which the complainant will be contacted. There might be delays, however, if the complainant chooses to file an anonymous complaint or the department has difficulty contacting the reporting person and/or witnesses to the incident. If a delay occurs beyond 15 days, the reporting person may contact the department for periodic status reports at upd@upd.gwu.edu. When the investigation is completed, the complainant is contacted and told whether the complaint was substantiated – meaning we were able to determine if his or her complaint had merit.  

GWPD has a long record of disciplining officers who violate policy. Conversely, we also have a long record of rewarding and honoring officers who perform above and beyond expectations. If students, faculty, staff or other members of the community wish to lodge a complaint against a campus police officer or offer a commendation for professional service, they can go to our website at http://gwired.gwu.edu/upd and click on the tab entitled “Service Feedback Form.”

Kevin C. Hay is the chief of police.

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