Division of Professional Standards

To Commend Exceptional Performance by a Police Employee:

The best way to commend the actions of a police department is to write a brief letter describing the incident and the actions you think were exceptional. Information such as the date, time and location will help identify the employee if you do not know his/her name.

If you choose not to write, you may ask to speak to the employee's supervisor and make a verbal commendation. All commendations received by the Provincetown Police Department are forwarded to the employee with a copy placed in his/her personnel file.

Although our employees do not expect to be thanked for everything they do, recognition of exceptional service is always welcomed. This kind of feedback helps us know if we are doing a good job.

To File a Complaint Against a Provincetown Police Department Employee:

Our Policy...

It is the policy of the Provincetown Police Department to thoroughly investigate all complaints against the department or it's employees. This insures the integrity of the department and protects the rights and interests of both the citizens and department employees

Who may complain?

Any person, regardless of age, sex, race or nationality, who witnesses or has direct knowledge of police misconduct, may file a complaint with the Provincetown Police Department.

When should you complain?

You should contact the department whenever you witness behavior by a police department employee, which is a violation of town, state, or federal law, involves the excessive use of force, or involves discourteous or abusive treatment

How do you file a complaint?

You should first speak to the supervisor of the employee involved. If the supervisor is unable to resolve your complaint, you should file your complaint, in writing, with the Office of the Chief of Police.

Who investigates the complaint?

Department Supervisors are charged with maintaining discipline and with overseeing the conduct of employees assigned to them. In most cases, the supervisor of the employee conducts an inquiry and reports the incident through the chain of command for disposition. The Office of the Chief of Police may directly investigate serious incidents. Incidents involving criminal activity may be investigated by the Barnstable County District Attorney's Office or the Attorney General's Office.

What is the complaint procedure?

After the investigating supervisor has interviewed all parties involved, the disposition will fall into one of the following categories:

  • SUSTAINED: the accused employee committed all or part of the alleged act of misconduct
  • NOT SUSTAINED: the investigation produced insufficient information to prove clearly or disprove the allegations.
  • EXONERATED: the alleged act occurred but was justified, legal and proper
  • UNFOUNDED: the alleged act did not occur

Who reviews the complaints?
All complaints are ultimately reviewed by the Office of the Chief of Police.

What corrective action will be taken?

When a complaint is sustained, a determination will be made as to what corrective action will be taken. The action taken will depend on the nature and severity of the complaint. Some examples of corrective measures include:

  • Retraining
  • Reassignment
  • Counseling
  • Oral / Written reprimand
  • Suspension
  • Termination

What will I be told?
After a thorough investigation of the complaint, the employee's supervisor, or another supervisor, will promptly contact you. You will be advised of the supervisor's findings and whether disciplinary action will be taken.

Employees of the Provincetown Police department strive at all times to be courteous and professional in all dealings with the citizens we serve and protect. It is the sincere hope of the Provincetown Police Department that all your contacts with our employees are positive. If not, we will endeavor to resolve your complaint to your satisfaction in a prompt and objective way.

For information on the status of your complaint, please contact the intake supervisor.
Provincetown Police Department
26 Shankpainter Road
Provincetown, MA 02657