It is the policy of the Zephyrhills Police Department (ZPD) to investigate all complaints made against department members or department policies and procedures, regardless of the source of such complaints. Any citizen may file a complaint in any of the following manners: Written correspondence (signed or anonymous), in person, or by telephone. Many times first-line supervisors can resolve issues immediately. Patrol supervisors are available twenty-four (24) hours a day.
The Chief of Police shall have the authority to order a formal professional standards investigation into any allegation or complaint based on the circumstances. When our Professional Standards Unit receives a complaint, a trained and experienced investigator will contact you. You may be asked to provide a recorded statement. After an investigation is complete, you will receive written notification of the outcome. If you are not satisfied with the disposition of the investigation, you are encouraged to contact the Chief of Police. Anonymous complaints shall be handled at the discretion of the Chief of Police.
Florida law requires the Zephyrhills Police Department to have a formal complaint process. However, it also provides protection against fictitious or false complaints against an officer. Any false statement filed in official proceedings will be prosecuted.
What you should know before filing a complaint:
An officer has the right to stop and question someone due to reasonable suspicion that a person is committing or is about to commit a crime.
An officer is allowed to raise their voice to control a situation.
An officer can use a reasonable amount of force if a person resists or interferes with an arrest.
A person may not use physical force to resist an officer, even if the person believes the arrest is unjustified.
An officer may seize property with a warrant or probable cause to believe the property is evidence of a crime.