Columbia Police Department: Professional Standards - Columbia Police Department

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The Professional Standards Division

Internal Affairs

The Internal Affairs Section conducts and coordinates the investigations of allegations of misconduct on the part of the Columbia Police Department employees. Any person who feels he/she was not treated fairly by any employee of the Columbia Police Department, or is aware of any improper action or improper conduct of any employee of the Columbia Police Department, should contact a supervisor at the nearest Regional Police office or the Professional Standards Unit, Internal Affairs Section, at (803) 545-3983.

The mission of the Office of Internal Affairs is to maintain and enhance the integrity of the Columbia Police Department through the full, fair and objective investigation of allegations of misconduct on the part of police department personnel.

The Internal Affairs Section is a fact finding body only and is not responsible for adjudicating matters which it has investigated. The Internal Affairs Section conducts administrative investigations only. Any allegations that may result in criminal charges being placed against a police department employee are first investigated by the appropriate criminal investigative office having jurisdiction. Completed investigations are forwarded to the appropriate command for review and recommendations. The final disposition is subject to the approval of the Chief of Police.

It is the policy of the Columbia Police Department to investigate all complaints of alleged employee misconduct and to determine the validity of the allegations. The primary responsibility for maintaining and reinforcing employee compliance with the standards of conduct of the Columbia Police Department is with the first line supervisor and the employee. All supervisors in the Department will make every reasonable effort to facilitate the courteous and prompt receipt and processing of citizen complaints.

Once a complaint has been finalized, the complainant will be notified of the Police Department's findings in writing by the Internal Affairs Section.

Staff Inspection

The Staff Inspection Unit coordinates formal and informal inspections of all the Departments divisions. The Staff Inspection Unit is a quality control management tool designed to objectively review the Columbia Police Deparment's organizational units.

They provide a means of inspection and support through a process of a formal and informal review and evaluation to ascertain if policy and procedures, and rules and regulations, are adequate and being adhered to; whether Department resources are adequate and are being properly utilized; to evaluate the overall performance and attitude of the Department.

The Staff Inspection Unit is a quality control management tool designed to objectively review the Department’s organizational units. Staff inspections involve the examination of all department operations for efficiency, safety, effectiveness, policy compliance, and adequacy of management controls. The Staff Inspections Unit shall have the authority of the Chief of Police to inspect various areas of operations within the Police Department to ensure that:

  • Policies and procedures of the Police Department are adhered to.

  • Information concerning the quality of services delivered and its effectiveness is surveyed, evaluated, and shared.

  • Resources are adequate for achieving the goals and objectives of the Department.

  • Inspections reveal the existence of specific needs or requirements for change.

The Chief of Police is informed of all deficiencies of the Department on a routine basis.

Policy Management

The Unit will review each policy and procedure on a regular basis, or when a deficiency is discovered during an Internal Affairs investigation or Staff Inpection, or when driected to do so, to ensure that they are up-to-date and appropriate.

When there is a need to revise or create policy and procedure, the Unit will prepare a draft version to be presented to the Chief of Police for approval.

Training Unit

School is always in at the Columbia Police Department’s Training and Career Development Division. That’s where officers and civilians head to boost their knowledge of law enforcement. Sworn officers also attend classes to maintain their Class 1 Law Enforcement Certification.

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