What is Internal Affairs?


The cornerstone of community policing is the partnership between law enforcement agencies and the community they serve; and for the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office, there is no higher priority. This successful partnership is based on mutual trust and civic accountability. The Internal Affairs Unit plays a critical role in safeguarding this partnership. The Internal Affairs Unit serves as the conduit for citizens and employees to report allegations of misconduct and know that each allegation will be professionally examined. The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office has numerous avenues for registering a complaint, all of which are well disseminated to both employees and the public.

The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office Internal Affairs Unit is the branch of the Professional Standards Division responsible for ensuring all investigations of misconduct against employees or violations of Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office policy; sworn, non-sworn, civilian and bailiff are appropriately handled.

Employees that are subject to disciplinary action have the right to appeal such action through the established grievance processes. The Internal Affairs Unit has the additional task of monitoring and coordinating the steps involved when employees elect to appeal their discipline through a grievance process. This additional area of responsibility requires that the Internal Affairs Unit coordinates with both the General Counsel’s Office and the City of Jacksonville. Internal Affairs detectives are instrumental in ensuring that the facts of a sustained investigation are presented in a manner that supports the charges brought against the employee during these proceedings.
 

How Does the Process Work?

 
Complaints received will be reviewed by the Internal Affairs supervisor, who will then assign the case to an Internal Affairs detective or a field supervisor. Which detective investigates the complaint depends on the seriousness of the allegation. Allegations that involve law breaking are first handled by the Integrity/Special Investigations Unit, which determines whether or not criminal charges are pursued. Once the Integrity case has concluded, the case will be transferred to the Internal Affairs Unit for administrative review. 
 
Serious allegations such as excessive force, falsifying documents, substance abuse, and criminal conduct that supports criminal violations of law will be handled by the Internal Affairs Unit. 
 
Minor allegations such as discourtesy, driving issues, or violations of procedure will be handled by the appropriate field supervisor, who will usually determine discipline. With a complaint handled by the Internal Affairs Unit, their detectives will send all information to the Internal Affairs Unit Commander for review. If the Unit Commander is satisfied with the investigation, the information will be forwarded through the employee's chain-of-command to the appropriate Director or the Undersheriff, who will then recommend discipline on sustained cases. If the determination is suspension, demotion, or dismissal; the employee will be notified of the punishment and given the option of requesting a grievance hearing to contest the decision.
 

Please click here to read more in a Florida Times-Union article, “Times-Union Analysis: Nearly 200 Northeast Florida Police Employees Leave Under Cloud” (September 2012)
 

Complaints

If you have a complaint of misconduct involving a JSO employee, please use the information provided below to file your complaint.

How to File a Complaint*
 
  • Electronic Complaint Form (Citizens can fill out and submit the form electronically)
  • PDF Complaint Form* (PDF form allows citizens to download the form at their leisure. Please go to page 3 of the form for instructions on how to submit the completed document to the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office Internal Affairs Unit) 

The most appropriate person to file a complaint is the person experiencing or witnessing alleged police misconduct rather than uninvolved third parties.

We will need the cooperation of the involved citizen to ensure a successful investigation. However, parents or guardians should feel free to make complaints on behalf of their juvenile children.

Frequently Asked Questions

Please click here to download the Employee Complaint Procedure quick reference brochure.
 

F.S.S. 837.06: Whoever knowingly makes a false statement in writing with the intent to mislead a public servant in the performance of his or her official duty shall be guilty of a misdemeanor of the second degree.
 

Pursuant to F.S.S. 119 all correspondence with the JSO are public record. Exceptions occur when information is shared as part of an active criminal investigation, adminstrative investigation or contains criminal intelligence. Under Florida law, once these cases are closed, they will become public record.

Under Florida law, email addresses are public record. If you do not want your email address released in response to a public record request, do not send electronic mail to this entity. Instead, contact the Internal Affairs Unit by phone at (904) 630-2187 or in writing.
 
Under Florida law, once these cases are disposed of they will be public record.


*Reading the PDF document(s) on this page requires the Adobe Acrobat Reader available free from Adobe.