Internal Affairs Unit

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 the allegation will be professionally investigated. 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 allegations of misconduct against employees of the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office; sworn, non-sworn, civilian and bailiff are all appropriately investigated.

Employees that are subject to disciplinary action have the right to appeal such action through the established grievance process. The Internal Affairs Unit has the additional task of monitoring and coordinating the steps involved when employees elect to appeal their discipline through the 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.

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 supervisor. Which detective investigates the complaint depends on the seriousness of the allegation. Allegations that involve law breaking are handled by  the Integrity/Special Investigations Unit, which determines whether or not criminal charges are pursued.  Should criminal charges not be filed the case will be transferred to the Internal Affairs Unit for further review. 
 
Serious allegations such as excessive force, falsifying documents, and substance abuse will be handled by the Internal Affairs unit. 
 
Minor allegations such as discourtesy or violations of procedure will be handled by the appropriate supervisor, who will usually determine discipline. With a complaint handled by Internal Affairs the investigator will send all information to the Internal Affairs commanding officer for review. If the commanding officer is satisfied with the investigation, the information will be forwarded to the appropriate Director or the Undersheriff, who will then recommend discipline. 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. After the grievance hearing, in which the Undersheriff or the division supervisor is usually the presiding authority, the punishment becomes official.
 

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 and fill out 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 is public record. Exceptions occur when information is shared as part of a criminal investigation, internal investigation or contains criminal intelligence.
 
Under Florida law, email addresses are public records. If you do not want your email address released in response to a public record do not send electronic mail to this entity. Instead, contact 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.

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