Police - Complaints and Commendations
The Gaithersburg Police Department strives to provide you with the best possible law enforcement and community services on a continuous basis. We also believe that there is always room for us to improve the level and quality of our service and we welcome input from members of the public.
Police officers are trained to make their decisions and take action based upon information known to them at the time, laws of the local, State and federal governments, and rulings that have been made by the courts. Some of these factors may not be immediately apparent to you or to bystanders at the particular moment of an incident. In most cases there are legal or procedural explanations for the actions taken by the department and our employees. However, situations do arise where errors and omissions occur. We want to know about these things and about service that you believe to be substandard, as well as any incidents in which the misconduct of our personnel occurs or is perceived to have occurred.
The Gaithersburg Police Department investigates all complaints made against the Department or any of its members in a fair, thorough and impartial manner in accordance with the Law Enforcement Officers' Bill of Rights. If, for any reason, we believe that we cannot conduct a fair and impartial investigation of our own, the investigation may be conducted by another agency, such as the Montgomery County Police, Maryland State Police, or Federal Bureau of Investigation.
Because we believe strongly in our mission and are committed to providing you the highest level and quality of service, we are providing you with information concerning our complaint process and how to make your feedback become the cause of positive change.
If you wish to file a complaint, you may do so by letter, e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org), or using a complaint form. Complaint forms are available in the Gaithersburg Police Department lobby area, or may be downloaded below.
All complaints will be investigated. Knowingly making a false or malicious complaint is a crime, punishable by fine and/or imprisonment if found guilty (Maryland Criminal Law Article, §9–501).
If you are filing a complaint alleging brutality, State law requires that you swear to your complaint (which may be recorded by a notary) and file in person within 90 days of the alleged incident.
When writing your complaint, please be as specific as possible regarding dates, times, places, the identity (if known) of those involved, any witnesses, and what the department or employee did, or failed to do, that is the basis for your complaint. This information will contribute significantly to a thorough investigation of the incident.
All formal complaints are forwarded to the Chief of Police without unnecessary delay and the Chief of Police will assign the complaint for investigation.
You will be informed, by the most practical means available, that your complaint has been received, the status of the investigation and who is conducting it, and whether additional information will be required from you.
You will be informed of the investigation’s finding at its conclusion.
If you do not wish to file a “formal complaint” but would like to express your concern to a supervisor, please make that known. Our supervisors are trained to handle complaints and inquiries of this nature and have the authority to resolve them in most instances. You do not waive the option of making a formal complaint by speaking to a supervisor. If you are not satisfied by your communication with the supervisor, you may proceed to file a complaint in the manner outlined previously.
Just as we want to hear how we may serve you better, we are always happy to hear about your positive experiences as well. If you believe that we have provided extraordinary service, or performed above and beyond the call of duty, a letter or email from you would be of great encouragement.