Internal Affairs

The Internal Affairs Unit provides citizens with a fair and effective avenue to voice their legitimate concerns. It also protects employees from false allegations of misconduct and wrongdoing. The Internal Affairs Unit coordinates all use of force and vehicle pursuit review boards. It is the responsibility of the IA Unit to ensure that the integrity of the Sheriff’s Office is maintained.

The highest priority of the Internal Affairs Unit is to protect the public’s trust and confidence in law enforcement. TCSO is dedicated to serving the needs of the community while respecting the rights of all citizens. Law Enforcement personnel are confronted with various situations and there may be occasion in which citizens feel they did not receive the service expected; or feel as if they were not treated respectfully and professionally. The Sheriff’s Office is committed to investigating all alleged employee misconduct or wrongdoing. All citizen complaints will be thoroughly and appropriately investigated by the IA Unit.

We Value Your Feedback

Every year TCSO Deputies and Detention Offices have contact with thousands of people. In some cases, people may wish to question why an incident was handled in a particular way or they may wish to acknowledge the people involved. In others, they may disagree with the actions of a TCSO employee.
The Sheriff’s Office values the feedback we receive from the community. That feedback provides a way for us to evaluate our policies and procedures, as well as provide a better service to the public.

The Sheriff’s Office takes your concerns seriously and we believe that the public is entitled to efficient and impartial service.

We formally investigate all citizen inquiries in order to:

  • Protect citizens from actual misconduct by a TCSO employee;
  • To protect the Sheriff’s Office as a whole and all employees who conduct themselves appropriately;
  • To identify the policies and procedures that may need review and/or change;
  • And to find ways to improve the quality of our service to the community.

The Sheriff’s Office does not, however, consider a disagreement over the elements of a traffic citation or a parking ticket to be a viable internal affairs complaint. This disagreement is best resolved by the court as a neutral fact-finder. Pending criminal and/or traffic charges are not affected by any investigation.

Methods for providing feed back to TCSO

The Tulsa County Sheriff’s Office provides several ways in which you may make a complaint, ask a question or compliment a TCSO employee.

1. Citizen’s Complaint Form
The Citizen’s Complaint form can picked up at any of the Tulsa County Sheriff’s Office three locations:

  • The Faulkner Building located at 303 West 1st Street, Tulsa, OK
  • The Tulsa County Courthouse located at 500 South Denver, Tulsa, OK
  • David L Moss Criminal Justic Center at 300 North Denver, Tulsa, OK

You are not required to come to one of our facilities to file your INQUIRY. The Citizen’s Complaint form is also available here Citizen Comments page. You may print the form and return it to the Sheriff’s Office by mail or submit it online.

2. In Person
You are not required to use the Citizen’s Complaint form when making a complaint although it is the preferred method. You may also speak directly with a supervisory member of the the Sheriff’s Office.

3. By Phone
While you may always speak to any supervisory member of the Sheriff’s Office, we encourage you to contact the Internal Affairs unit at (918) 596-5654. You can also make an anonymous phone call to the Interal Affairs Unit at (918) 596-6150, to leave a recording.

Investigation of a Complaint

If you choose to make a complaint, we will follow a formal process to ensure that your complaint is thoroughly investigated.

When you file a complaint, you will be asked for your name, address, a telephone number and the details of your complaint. The date, time and location would be the minimum details we would need to open an investigation. If you know the name of the TCSO employee, that would be useful, as well as the names of any witnesses who have specific information about the encounter and your complaint.

When we receive your complaint, someone from our Internal Affairs Office will contact you by phone, to let you know it has been received and assigned to an investigator. The investigator will contact you to determine whether you have any further information to assist with the investigation.

You will be asked to participate in a tape recorded interview. This will be conducted at a mutually agreed upon location. You will not have to come to our offices if you do not wish to.

The investigator will assemble all relevant documents and other evidence. The Sheriff’s Office employee involved and all witnesses will also participate in a recorded interview. Normally the investigation will be completed within 30 days after we receive the complaint. Should the timeline be delayed you will be notified.

Findings

A finding will be made on all investigations, whether completed by the Division Chief, supervisor or the Internal Affairs Investigator.

The finding will be determined by the Sheriff or Undersheriff. The finding will fall into one of the following categories:

  • Unfounded: The alleged incident did not occur or there is insufficient information to conduct a meaningful investigation;
  • Exonerated: The alleged incident did occur, but the actions of the employee were justified, legal and proper;
  • Not sustained: The investigation failed to disclose sufficient evidence to clearly prove or disprove the allegation;
  • Sustained: The investigation disclosed sufficient evidence to prove the allegation violates criminal law or office rule of conduct;
  • Other: The allegation is withdrawn by the complainant prior to completion or the investigation or the matter is ended due to a reason of closure not listed above.

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