Frequently Asked Questions
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What is the Citizens Police Complaint Office (CPCO)?

The Citizens Police Complaint Office is independent of the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department, created by City-County General Ordinance. It affords citizens of Indianapolis, who believe they have been treated improperly by an officer of IMPD, the opportunity to have their complaints voiced and investigated.

What is the Citizens Police Complaint Board (CPCB)?

The CPCB is a twelve member Board consisting of nine civilian voting members and three non-voting police officers. These CPCB members are appointed by the City-County Council, the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) and the Mayor and have the task of reviewing all cases filed in the CPCO.

Who may file a complaint?

Any person who feels he or she has been the victim of police misconduct may file a complaint. If the complainant is a minor, under the age of 18, a parent or legal guardian must accompany the minor when filing the complaint.

How to file a complaint?

The most common way to file a formal complaint is to contact the CPCO at (317) 327-3440 to schedule an appointment for an interview. Citizens may also visit the office without making an appointment, during regular working hours.  In formalizing the complaint the complainant is required to complete and sign the formal complaint document as mandated in the enabling ordinance. To file a complaint informally you may write or E-mail your complaint to, Citizens Police Complaint Office, 200 East Washington Street, Suite 1921 Indianapolis, IN 46204-3327 (CPCO@indy.gov  ) . When filing an informal complaint the process is abbreviated, in that there is no need to make an office visit. The complaint will be investigated, as long as we can identify the officer(s) involved, but it will not be reviewed by the Citizens' Police Complaint Board. A formal complaint must be filed within sixty (60) days of the incident as dictated in the enabling ordinance.

You may also use our Online Complaint Form to register a complaint: http://tinyurl.com/IndyCPCO

What happens to the complaint?

Once a formal complaint is received in the CPCO, it is processed, recorded and sent to IMPD Professional Standards Division for investigation. The complaint is returned to the CPCO with a disposition (finding) attached. The complaint is then scheduled for review by the CPCB. The complainant will be informed of the time, date, and place of this public meeting. The CPCB will review and discuss the complaint at the meeting. No testimony is heard from either the complainant nor the officer(s) involved. All statements are made previously by involved parties during the investigative process. If the CPCB endorses (agrees with) the findings, the case is then considered complete. If the CPCB does not endorse the findings, they have the option to:

  1. Order the Executive Director of the CPCO to conduct an independent investigation of the allegations and/or
  2. Conduct an informal administrative hearing on the complaint and/or
  3. Order the Executive Director to mediate the complaint informally with the Chief of Police in an attempt to resolve the matter.

What information is  needed when filing a complaint?

When you file a complaint, please included as much of the following information as is possible:

  • Date, time, and location of incident
  • Identification and or description of officer(s) involved. Badge, vehicle or license plate number(s) of targeted officer(s) if available
  • Witnesses' names, addresses, phone numbers
  • Citations, medical records, or any other documentation or evidence, which you feel may be helpful

What if the IMPD officer is found to be in violation of departmental policy?

If there is sufficient evidence to prove the allegation(s) made in the complaint, the complaint will be ruled SUSTAINED. The Chief of Police will take the appropriate disciplinary action. This action is reported to the CPCO and upon request of the complainant can be disseminated.

What if there is insufficient evidence to prove or disprove the allegation(s)?

With insufficient evidence, the case will be ruled NOT SUSTAINED: notification will be sent to the complainant, and the finding will be recorded in the officer's personnel record for tracking of patterns.

What if the officer is found to have acted in accordance with departmental policy?

If the officer is found to have acted properly and in accordance with IMPD regulations, a disposition of EXONERATED will be attached to the complaint, and notification will be sent to the complainant.

What if the allegations do not coincide with the evidence?

If substantive information provided by the complainant does not coincide with the evidence obtained, the complaint will be DISMISSED, and no further action will be taken. 

How can I become a member of the CPCB?

All voting members must be citizens who are residents of Marion County. Voting members are selected from nominees chosen by the Mayor's Office and the City County Council.  No sworn law enforcement officer is eligible to serve as a voting member.

For more information on Complaint Board vacancies contact:
Mayor's Office 317-327-4241
Council Office 317-327-4242
200 E Washington St Ste 241

 

How can you bring good officer conduct to the attention of IMPD?

If you would like to compliment the conduct and/or actions of an IMPD officer, this may be accomplished by calling the Chief of Police's office at (317) 327-3282. You may also send written correspondence to the Chief of Police or to the district commander of the officer. You may also submit via our online form here: http://tinyurl.com/IndyCPCO

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What if You Do Not Agree with Either the IMPD or the CPCB?

You have the right to discuss your case with an attorney and seek recourse under the law.