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Departments » Sheriff
Citizen's Complaint

The Brown County Sheriff's Office serves the community and it is our citizens that we are ultimately responsible. Personnel are directed to perform their duties in a courteous and professional manner. Police work often involves working without direct supervision in a variety of circumstances. Personnel are directed to make judgmental decisions within the parameters of law and departmental policy by applying their training and experience to individual situations. Often times these situations are stressful in nature. Given these elements, it is inevitable that from time to time citizen complaints are generated.
The web page is designed to provide you with information on how to file a citizen complaint as well as what to expect once a complaint has been filed by discussing the complaint process.

Making a Complaint
There are several ways to initiate the complaint process:
  • Contact the Sheriff's Office representative for internal complaints at either of the following telephone numbers (920) 448-4204 or (920) 448-4456
  • Go to the Sheriff's Office located at 2684 Development Drive, Bellevue WI and inform the person at the front desk you are there to file a complaint. Business hours are Monday through Friday from 8:00 am until 4:00pm. After hours you may reach the Patrol Lieutenant at (920) 448-4241
  • You may request a Citizen Complaint form in person, by mail or by telephone to have it sent to your residence.
  • You may also access the Complain form at the bottom of this page.
  • However you wish to make your complaint you must complete and have notarized the Affidavit form which is the last part of the complaint. An exception to a signed Affidavit is if you wish to remain anonymous and have sufficiently justified the reason as to why on the complaint form.
The Complaint Process
Every supervisor is capable of taking your initial complaint information. There may be instances in which simply speaking to a supervisor is sufficient to resolve the matter. An example of this might be observed a patrol care driving over the posted speed limit without lights or siren activated. It may be determined that the officer was responding to a robbery alarm in accordance with departmental policy. This information may be sufficient to alleviate the citizen's concern and no further action would be taken.
For formalized complaints the department has developed a packet of procedural forms to ensure that all pertinent information is received. There will be initial fact gathering interview in which the circumstances, officer(s) involved, and any witnesses present will be documented.

Assignment of Investigation
Complaints being less severe are generally handled by the employees immediate supervisor. This allows the supervisor to monitor the employee's performance and to immediately take the appropriate corrective action. At the conclusion of the investigation the supervisor submits the investigation to the appropriate Division Captain for review.
Complaints of a more serious nature are referred to the Professional Standards Division of the department for investigation.

The involved employee is informed that they are the subject of a complaint, unless notification would be detrimental to the case. If applicable they are ordered not to discuss the situation with anyone, but the investigator to negate the possibility of influencing the perceptions of fellow employees who might be witnesses. The investigation consists of:
  • The possible re-interview of the complainant;
  • Locating and interviewing any witnesses;
  • The collection and review of records, such as recordings of radio transmissions or phone calls as well as police reports
  • An interview of the employee who is the subject of the investigation
  • At conclusion a final report is submitted.
The Chief Deputy will review for completeness, and if appropriate will recommend corrective measures such as directing the employee's future actions, training, and/or discipline. The investigation is then forwarded to the Sheriff for final review and approval.

  • Making a complaint against an employee of this department is taken very serious and has potential consequences for that employees future employment; it is against the law to make a complaint that you know to be false and you may be charged and prosecuted for a crime.
  • If you are charged with an offense and awaiting hearing before the courts, the complaint may be deferred until after adjudication of the case by the judge.
For your convenience, you may access our online Citizen Complaint Form clicking here.
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