OPS Frequently Asked Questions

There are a number of ways to file a complaint:

  1. You can complete and submit an online complaint form through our website: CLICK HERE
  2. You can come in person to our office. Our address is 205 West St. Clair Ave. Cleveland, Ohio 44113. We are open Monday through Friday from 8:30am to 4:00pm. You do not need to have an appointnment.
  3. You can download a complaint form, complete it, and send it to us via email: CLEPoliceComplaints@city.cleveland.oh.us
  4. You can download a complaint form, complete it, and fax it to us. Fax number: 216-420-8764.
  5. You can download a complaint form, complete it, and send it to our address: 205 West St. Clair Ave. Cleveland, Ohio 44113 via US Mail.
  6. You can file a complaint through the phone. Please call us at 216-664-2944.
  7. You can visit any of the five Cleveland Division of Police District Stations or the Cleveland Division of Police Headquarters (address: 1300 Ontario St. Cleveland, Ohio 44112) and file a complaint there.
  8. You can visit the Mayor’s Action Center located at the Cleveland City Hall (Room 228) and file a complaint there.

Anyone may file a complaint with OPS, including subjects of police incidents, recipients of police services, a witness to a police incident, a third party, a legal representative, an anonymous person, the OPS Administrator, or a member of the CPRB. To file a complaint online, please, click here.

No, you do not need to be a resident. As long as the complaint is against a Cleveland Division of Police employee, you can file a complaint with us, even if you reside in another city, county, or state.

No, there is no time limit. However, the public is encouraged to file a complaint as close to the incident as possible since testimonial, documentary, and physical evidence might be harder to be obtained as time goes by.

Yes, of course. Complaints against unidentified officers are filed regularly by citizens. In most of these cases, OPS investigators are able to identify the officer(s) using police department records and documents.

No. The Office of Professional Standards investigates only non-criminal complaints against sworn and non-sworn Cleveland Division of Police employees.

The only findings that an OPS Investigator may recommend are as follows:

SUSTAINED: If the preponderance of the evidence supports a finding that the alleged conduct occurred and the officer's actions were inconsistent with law or Cleveland Division of Police General Police Orders, training, or procedures, the recommended finding will be "Sustained." A complaint may be "sustained in part" if the investigation revealed sufficient evidence to support a finding of a policy violation on one or more, but not all of the complainant's allegations. A complaint may also be "sustained for a violation not based on original complaint" if the investigation reveals evidence of misconduct that was not included in the complainant's original allegation but arose out of the incident that is the subject of the complaint.

EXONERATED: If the preponderance of the evidence gathered throughout the investigation supports a finding that the alleged conduct occurred but the officer's actions were consistent with law, Cleveland Division of Police General Police Orders, training, or procedures."

UNFOUNDED: If the preponderance of the evidence supports a finding that the alleged conduct did not occur.

INSUFFICIENT EVIDENCE: If the preponderance of the evidence fails to establish whether the alleged conduct did or did not occur, the Investigator will make a recommended finding of "Insufficient Evidence."

No. OPS does not discipline officers or make any recommendations as to potential discipline. Only the Chief of Police and the Director of Public Safety have the authority to decide the level of discipline and impose punishment on an officer.

The time it takes for an investigation to be completed depends on several aspects, including but not limited to: the number and complexity of the complaints filed; the existence and size of case backlogs; staffing; DA holds and other procedural gaps in investigation, and; the timetable in which documents and other evidentiary requests are met by external sources. Thus, sometimes an investigation can be done quickly, in a matter of a few weeks. Some investigations take longer.

Yes, they are! For those interested to attend, the hearings take place the second Tuesday of each month. They start at 10:00 a.m. and are held at Cleveland City Hall, Room 514, 601 Lakeside Ave, Cleveland, OH 44114.

No. OPS does not assist or seek any form of Financial compensation on behalf of citizens.

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