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In order to maintain the trust of the citizens we serve and to ensure professionalism and ethical conduct, the Office of Professional Compliance conducts thorough, impartial, and fair administrative investigations of any Mecklenburg County Sheriff's Office employee accused of misconduct. The Office of Professional Compliance reports investigative findings directly to the Sheriff of Mecklenburg County.

MCSO is committed to providing professional services to the community and to being accountable to our citizenry. If you find the need to file a complaint against any Mecklenburg County Sheriff’s Office employee, please try to obtain as much specific information as possible such as the date, time of the incident, name or description of the employee, and the names and addresses of any witnesses to the incident. You may ask uniformed personnel for their code number since badge numbers are not used as an employee identifier.

Complaints may be filed online, by telephone, by email, mail or in person at:

Office of Professional Compliance
901 Elizabeth Avenue, Suite 400
Charlotte, NC 28204
(980) 314-5840

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a complaint?

  • An allegation of an act or omission which, if proven true, would amount to employee misconduct.
  • An expression of dissatisfaction with a policy, practice, procedure, philosophy, service level, or legal standard of the Mecklenburg County Sheriff’s Office.

What is the best way to file a complaint?

What happens once I file a complaint?

  • An Office of Professional Compliance representative will contact you concerning your complaint.
  • Your complaint will be assigned to the appropriate supervisor for investigation.
  • Your complaint may remain with the employee’s immediate supervisor; be sent up the chain of command, or remain with the Office of Professional Compliance, depending on the severity of the alleged misconduct.

Do I have to give my name to make a complaint against an officer?

  • No; you do not have to give your name. We accept anonymous complaints or compliments from individuals and third party observers.

How does the administrative investigation process work?

The process begins by you reporting your concerns. You have the right to file a complaint against an MCSO employee for improper conduct. There are several pieces of information that you should provide to help us act on your complaint, including the date and time of event, location, involved employee names or description, incident complaint number (if applicable), and/or a MCSO vehicle number.

If the allegation(s) made against the employee(s) are sustained the Mecklenburg County Sheriff’s Office cannot release to you any information regarding the disciplinary action taken against our employee(s). The investigation may also reveal that employee(s) acted properly or that there is not enough information available to prove or disprove the allegation(s).

A complaint is filed in one of the following ways:

When a complaint is received by the Office of Professional Compliance it is recorded for investigation. The complaint receives a tracking number assigned by the Office of Professional Compliance and is routed consistent with policy to the appropriate unit supervisor for investigation. Routing considerations include:

  • If the alleged misconduct is of serious consequence to the employee, department or community confidence in the Sheriff’s Office; the Office of Professional Compliance will investigate.

  • If the alleged misconduct is of moderate or minor consequence to the employee, department or community confidence in the Sheriff’s Office, a supervisor in the employee's area of assignment will investigate the complaint.

  • In some cases the Office of Professional Compliance is requested by a supervisor in an employee's chain of command to investigate an allegation of misconduct that would normally be investigated by a supervisor assigned to that employee's unit.

The Categories of Misconduct:

  • Category A is the most serious violation.

  • Category B is a violation of moderate severity.

  • Category C is a violation of minor severity.

  • Category D is the least severe violation.

Once the investigation is complete each allegation of employee misconduct is adjudicated in one of the following ways:

  • Sustained: The investigation disclosed sufficient evidence to prove clearly the allegation made in the complaint.

  • Unfounded: The allegation of misconduct is false. The conduct alleged to have occurred did not occur.

  • Not Sustained: The investigation failed to disclose sufficient evidence to prove or disprove the allegations made in the complaint.

  • Exonerated: The acts which provided the basis for the complaint or allegation occurred; however, the investigation revealed they were justified, lawful, and proper.

  • Information File: Allegations of employee misconduct investigated by the Office of Professional Compliance, so lacking in merit and/or substance that the preparation of formal charges and review by a Chain of Command Review Board would serve no useful purpose.

Cases Investigated by the Office of Professional Compliance.

When an investigation reveals a fair probability that an employee has engaged in misconduct, the Office of Professional Compliance drafts a document that specifies the alleged misconduct violation and summarizes the events that support the allegation. The Office of Professional Compliance also coordinates and schedules a Chain of Command Review Board Hearing for that employee. The members of the review board include the accused employee's chain of command. The members of the review board question and hear from the accused during the hearing to fully understand all facts necessary to make a finding.

The Chief Deputy will inform the employee of the review board findings and the disciplinary sanctions that can range from counseling, written reprimand, suspension without pay, or termination of employment. It is only after thoughtful consideration of all relevant information that the Sheriff makes a final determination regarding the status of employment with the Mecklenburg County Sheriff’s Office and the application of disciplinary sanctions against an employee for sustained Category A level violations. Although there may be extenuating circumstances that can cause delay, our goal is to adjudicate all allegations within 60 days. All decisions are final; there is no appeal.

How do I file a compliment?

Does an employee really benefit if I register a compliment?

  • Yes; the employee benefits if you register a compliment. The Sheriff’s Office takes employee recognition seriously and the purpose of our Quality Achievement Awards (QAA) program is to provide timely recognition of employees that significantly contribute or have special achievements that go above and beyond what is normally expected by the organization. Eligible employees that have demonstrated exceptional service, outstanding performance, and/or commitment to the Sheriff’s Office Mission, Vision, and Guiding Principles can receive awards ranging from cash, letters of commendation, and paid time off depending on the level of achievement.

  • All compliments are forwarded to the employee’s supervisor.

  • Supervisors notify the employee and place a copy of the compliment in the employee’s personnel file.

  • Supervisors will consider all compliments and complaints when conducting periodic performance reviews.

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