Complaints

If you feel a member of the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office acted improperly, you may file a complaint with our office. Types of complaints include but are not limited to: unnecessary/excessive use of force, biased policing (based on race, gender, sexual orientation, etc.), sexual assault/misconduct, discourtesy, improper search/seizure, neglect of duty, conduct unbecoming a deputy and dishonesty.  

Complaints may be filed by submitting a complaint form or you may contact our office for other options

Filing a Complaint

You may file your complaint with IOLERO, or you may file a complaint directly with the Sheriff’s Office. However, if you want to ensure your complaint is audited by IOLERO, you should file it with our office.

One of the primary functions of IOLERO is to serve as a neutral, independent location where a member of the public may file a complaint against the Sheriff’s Office without concern that they may experience discomfort or intimidation during that process.

The goal of the Office is to make the process of filing a complaint as comfortable for the public as possible, while also trying to gather complete information from the complainant to help ensure that the investigation of the complaint can be effective.

A member of the public may file a complaint in person or online.

Please download the complaint form below and return it to IOLERO by email by entering "Submit" at the end of the form. We highly recommend that you save a copy of your completed form to your own computer before submitting. You may also return the form via U.S. mail, fax to (707) 565-5715, or in person at our office. 

Download the Complaint Form in English
Download the Complaint Form in Spanish

If you prefer, you may complete the form in person at the IOLERO office.

We are located at 2300 County Center Drive, Suite A211, Santa Rosa, CA 95403.

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Complaint Process Summary

Reviewing a complaint alleging misconduct by the Sheriff’s Office or their staff involves two separate agencies, IOLERO and the Sheriff’s Office. Each of these independent offices has their own role in reviewing your complaint. 

Once the complaint has been filed, the investigation will be conducted by the Sheriff’s Office. Once it receives the complaint, the Sheriff’s Office will classify it according to the nature of the misconduct alleged, and begin its investigation. 

Once the Sheriff’s Office concludes its investigation, it will forward its report to IOLERO for its review. The report will include whether the Sheriff’s Office has found that each allegation of misconduct in the complaint is:

  • Sustained (meaning the Sheriff’s Office finds a violation of its policies, based on the evidence),
  • Exonerated (meaning the allegations of the complaint are supported by the evidence, but the actions of an employee were nevertheless compliant with Sheriff’s Office policies),
  • Not sustained/inconclusive (meaning there was not enough evidence to either prove or disprove the complaint), or
  • Unfounded (meaning the evidence does not support the complaint).

IOLERO will then conduct an audit of the investigation process to ensure that the investigation and the resulting report are thorough, unbiased, and timely.

At the conclusion of its audit, the IOLERO Director will inform the Sheriff’s Office whether she agrees or disagrees with the findings of the Sheriff’s Office and whether there are concerns about the investigation process.  The IOLERO Director will then make policy and/or training recommendations to the Sheriff’s Office, if appropriate, based on her audit findings. Once a year, the Director of IOLERO publishes an “annual report” which outlines the types of complaints received, relevant data/statistics gleaned from the complaints and whether the Sheriff’s Office accepted or rejected recommendations made by the IOLERO Director.

Contact Information

Independent Office of Law Enforcement Review and Outreach

County of Sonoma

Contact us by Phone
Address
Monday – Friday
8:00 AM – 5:00 PM

Plaza Building A

2300 A County Center Drive

Suite A211

Santa Rosa, CA 95403
38.462409, -122.725364
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