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Professional Standards

Professional Standards

The Fall River Police Department's Professional Standards unit is compromised of one Detective Lieutenant and one Detective that are assigned by the Chief of Police and work under his direct command. The Professional Standards Unit's primary function is to thoroughly investigate complaints and ensure the integrity of our department as well as act as a liaison to the media.

The Fall River Police Department must provide citizens with a fair and effective avenue for redress of legitimate complaints against its officers. The Professional Standards Unit also protects the members of the Department by investigating and dismissing false and unfounded allegations of misconduct. The Professional Standards Unit also assures that each officer receives every protection he/she is entitled to under both the state and Federal Constitutions.

The Professional Standards Unit's function is vital for the maintenance of professional conduct with the Fall River Police Department. The integrity and professionalism of the Department is in direct proportion to the integrity and discipline of each of its members. The public image of the Department is largely determined by the quality of the Professional Standards Unit's function in responding to allegations of misconduct by the Department or its members.

The Professional Standards Unit is also responsible for Media Relations and have the responsibility to prepare and distribute news releases as directed by the Chief of Police. In addition, the Unit will assist, coordinate and review press releases and public interest items from all Department Divisions or Units.

It is of utmost importance to the administration of the Fall River Police Department to provide citizens of Fall River with a quality of police services citizens that ensures the utmost integrity of all employees.

To ensure that this level of service is continually provided to citizens, it is recognized that there must be a method for the administration to be made aware of citizen’s complaints regarding actions or inactions of sworn or civilian employees of this department, that fail to meet the standards required.

It is the policy of the Fall River Police Department to accept and investigate all complaints of misconduct or wrongdoing against the Department or Department employees, regardless of the source of such complaint, by conducting a regulated, thorough and impartial examination of all available factual information.


A standard complaint form shall be used to record all complaints of misconduct, mistreatment or unethical practices against Department personnel, whether registered by a citizen, initiated from within the Department or forwarded by another governmental agency. The Complaint Control Form (PD 252) shall be located at the Fall River Police Department.

Any person requesting to make a complaint against an employee of the Department shall, upon request, be given a copy of the Complaint Control Form (PD 252) this form is not to leave the police station since they are all numbered. A complainant may write a separate narrative and attach it to the complaint form.

Every person making a complaint against a Department employee shall receive a letter from the Office of Professional Standards to serve as a receipt verifying that such complaint has been received.

At the conclusion of any administrative investigation, a full written report shall be prepared for submission to the Chief of Police.

The Chief of Police will determine one of the below findings based on all of the information presented to him/her.

  • Sustained
  • Not Sustained [Inconclusive]
  • Unfounded
  • Exonerated

Every person who has filed a complaint against an employee shall be notified promptly as to the final results of the investigation by a form letter in the mail.

For further information please contact the Fall River Police Department.

Lieutenant Gil Costa extension 272
Sergeant J.T. Hoar extension 212

Citizen Complaints

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