Citizen Rights for Internal Affairs Investigations
- Every law enforcement agency within the State of New Jersey must accept reports of officer misconduct from any person at any time.
- Every law enforcement agency within the State of New Jersey must have a policy consistent with the Attorney General’s Internal Affairs Policy and Procedures, which provides that all citizen complaints involving police misconduct are readily accepted and fully and promptly investigated.
- A member of the public who feels that he/she has witnessed or been the victim of police misconduct has the right to file an internal-affairs complaint against the officer(s)-in-question.
- The police have a duty to fairly, objectively and thoroughly investigate all internal-affairs complaints.
- All persons filing internal-affairs complaints have the right to courteous, professional and fair treatment by the police.
- A member of the public has the right to lodge a complaint regardless of the hour or day of the week. If the complainant cannot come to police headquarters, the police must meet the complainant at his/her home, work or other mutually convenient location. In the event the complainant is unable for some reason to meet in person with the police, the internal affairs complaint can be made via telephone, U.S Mail or through email. Reasonable steps must be taken to accommodate a complainant who does not speak English.
- A member of the public has the right to make his/her complaint anonymously. He/she does not have to be an American citizen to do so and cannot be required to produce identification or be accompanied by a citizen before a complaint will be accepted. The police cannot report a person to federal immigration officials in retaliation for the filing of an internal-affairs complaint.
- A juvenile has the right to file an internal-affairs complaint, with or without the presence of a parent or guardian.
- A complainant has the right to be kept informed of the status of their complaint as well as the outcome of his/her complaint at the conclusion of the police investigation.
The members of the Chester Police Department are committed to providing law enforcement services that are fair, effective, and impartially applied. It is in the best interest of everyone that your complaint about the performance of an individual officer is resolved fairly and promptly. The Police Department has formal procedures for investigating your complaint. These procedures ensure fairness and protect the rights of both citizens and law enforcement officers. If you would like to file a complaint, please complete the “Citizen Complaint Form” and submit it to the Police Department. The instructions and complaint forms can be found below.
You may submit your complaint by any of the following means:
- Deliver or mail the form to “Internal Affairs” Chester Police, 1 Parker Road, Chester, NJ 07930.
- Email the form to Lt. Ronald Totams at firstname.lastname@example.org
- If you live in Chester you may also call Police HQ at 908-879-5514 x852 or x850 and request that an officer respond to your home and pick up the form.
Please DO NOT FAX the form to our headquarters as these matters are confidential in nature.
Pursuant to the Attorney General Internal Affairs Policies and Procedures and the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office Directive, a law enforcement agency must make public an annual report relating to certain Internal Affairs statistics. This is the link to the Chester Police Department’s annual reports summarizing the types of Internal Affairs complaints received and the disposition of those complaints. For the year 2020, the Chester Police Department had no major discipline incidents. This statistic moving forward will be part of our annual Professional Standards Report found in this section.