YOUR COMPLAINT IS IMPORTANT
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.
A complaint may be made with SLED in the following ways:
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:
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.
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 personnel.
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.
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 extension necessary.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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, disability, or social or economic status.
State employees should make decisions in a fair, objective, and impartial manner.
State employees should remain loyal to the State and the citizens they serve and should not engage in any conduct that calls into question this loyalty.
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.