YOUR COMPLAINT IS IMPORTANT top
The State Law Enforcement Division (SLED) is committed to
receiving and accepting complaints about the actions and performance of all our
personnel. As an organization, we try very hard to provide the highest level of
quality law enforcement service to all our citizens. Policing is a very difficult
and complex job in today’s society, and we realize that mistakes can be made and
the actions of our personnel may fall short of your expectations.
The members of SLED are aware of the important responsibilities
and duties they have as public servants. SLED operates under the constitutional
guarantees afforded to everyone and under the laws that govern us. Therefore, the
courteous receipt of complaints, thorough and impartial investigation, and just
disposition are important in maintaining the confidence of our citizens.
UNDERSTANDING THE PROCESS top
A complaint may be made with SLED in the following ways:
- During normal business hours, go to SLED Headquarters at 4400 Broad River Road, Columbia,
S. C. and request to speak with a member of the SLED Inspections staff.
- After normal business hours, and on weekends and holidays, call the SLED Duty Officer
at (803) 737-9000.
- Write a letter to Chief Mark Keel at SLED Headquarters,
P. O. Box 21398, Columbia, S.C. 29221-1398 (FAX: 803-896-7041)
Making a citizen complaint with SLED does not prevent you
from making a complaint with other government authorities.
SLED personnel will meet with you at a location in which
you feel comfortable, if necessary. Information that you have that would
assist in the inquiry would include:
- Date, time, and location of the incident
- Names of the members involved
- Names, addresses, and phone numbers of any witnesses
Please Note: If you wish to file a complaint against
an employee of another agency or entity, you must file your complaint with officials
of that agency or entity. Your complaint may be resolved at that level.
THE INTERVIEW top
A SLED agent will discuss the complaint with you. Perhaps
the problem is with an agency other than SLED, or it may be possible that the agent
may be able to explain the employee’s actions to your satisfaction. If, after this
discussion, you are satisfied with the explanation and help given, then no further
action is taken. However, if the complaint is not resolved at that time, the agent
will take your information and make sure that the complaint is considered by appropriate
AFTER THE COMPLAINT IS MADE top
A record of your complaint will be forwarded to the Office of Professional Responsibility of SLED
for evaluation and assignment. They will
decide whether the complaint should be handled by the involved member’s supervisor
or whether to initiate an internal affairs investigation.
If the complaint is of a serious nature, you may be asked
to talk to members assigned to conduct the internal affairs investigation. Depending
on the facts, the complaint could be referred to another agency to investigate.
LENGTH OF THE PROCESS top
The agency requires that investigations of complaints be
completed within 180 days from the time they are received. This may be longer due
to any circumstances that prevent the completion of the investigation and make an
WHAT HAPPENS AFTER THE INVESTIGATION? top
The results of each investigation/review will be discussed
with the Chief of SLED and appropriate staff. If evidence supports a violation of
agency rules only, it will be handled internally. If the matter is criminal in nature,
it will be referred to an appropriate jurisdiction.
WHAT IF A MEMBER IS IN VIOLATION OF AGENCY RULES? top
The Major over the affected employee will provide
the Chief with a recommendation for discipline. In severe cases this may result
in termination of employment, reduction in rank, or suspension without pay. Other
less severe sanctions include training and counseling by supervisory or command
staff. The Chief is the final agency authority for discipline.
YOUR RIGHTS AFTER THE INVESTIGATIONS top
You will be notified in writing of the conclusion of the investigation of your complaint.
It will not contain the description of any disciplinary action.
MISSION STATEMENT top
The primary mission of the State Law Enforcement Division
is to provide quality manpower and technical assistance to law enforcement agencies
and to conduct investigations on behalf of the state as directed by the Governor
and Attorney General.
ETHICAL PRINCIPLES top
State employees should adhere to a personal code of conduct
which supports the moral values necessary for good government and advances the purpose
and mission of the state, their profession and agency.
State employees should be truthful and sincere in all their
interactions with the public and with each other. They should avoid the appearance
of wrongdoing and should confront and challenge any unethical behavior.
State employees should discharge their duties with care,
compassion, and concern for the well-being of all those they serve. They should
recognize the inherent worth and dignity of all persons regardless of race, color,
sex, age, religion, national origin, handicapping condition, or social or economic
State employees should make decisions in a fair, objective,
and impartial manner.
State employees should take responsibility for their own
actions and personal decisions and protect the public trust by upholding the constitution
and laws of the United States of America and the State of South Carolina.
Anyone who makes a complaint against a member of SLED shall
be treated with courtesy and respect. Not withstanding the fact that a complaint
was made, NO MEMBER OF THE AGENCY SHALL FAIL TO PROVIDE PROFESSIONAL SERVICE AT
ALL TIMES TO THAT INDIVIDUAL.