Internal Affairs Investigations
Police and law enforcement officers are dedicated to serving the community by providing protection and securing the property of its citizens. Unfortunately, there are times that an officer’s behavior or actions are called into question by other officers or the public at large. In these cases, special procedures are put into action requiring the skills, knowledge and law enforcement training of an internal investigations officer.
An internal affairs investigation can be as simple as a law enforcement or police officer defending a citizen’s concerns or complaints to a supervisor or a more thorough investigation into the circumstances and any other pertinent information surrounding the issue. These types of investigations provide different outcomes, from the suspension, resignation or termination of an officer to the exoneration of the officer and assurance to the community that the officer acted in the best manner possible in light of all evidence presented.
Internal affairs investigation officers have a difficult job that requires superb investigation skills as well as the ability to work within the law enforcement system. These specialized officers must work to ensure the trust of fellow law enforcement officers, as well as the community, while still remaining impartial until all of the evidence is presented and adjudicated. Some law enforcement or police departments have these investigators on staff, while other agencies may require the services of officers from other districts or organizations. No matter where the officers are from, they are constantly faced with the distrust of both the community and the law enforcement and police officers within the communities, yet they tirelessly perform internal affairs investigations for the peace of mind of both.
It is not uncommon for a police or law enforcement officer to be subjected to an internal affairs investigation during the course of his or her career, especially when dealing with angry or uninformed citizens. While it is true that there are times when law enforcement and police officers break the laws they are sworn to uphold, the majority of these professionals may be victims of circumstance. Many times, the outcome of an internal affairs investigation becomes a matter of explaining laws and procedures to the citizens so they are more aware of the reasons for certain behaviors of the officers. It is these incidents that call for the sound judgment and meticulous investigation skills of an internal affairs officer to help keep the peace between the public and the men and women sworn to ensure the safety of the community.