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Filing a Complaint

You may file your complaint with IOLERO, or you may file a complaint directly with the Sheriff’s 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, U.S. mail, or in person. 

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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IOLERO staff may contact you after receiving your complaint to schedule an intake interview designed to ensure that the complaint includes complete information. This follow-up is intended to help ensure your complaint can be successfully investigated.

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. You may file a complaint with IOLERO or with the Sheriff’s Office.

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

During the investigation, ILOERO will actively review the investigation process regarding complaints filed with IOLERO, as well as more serious complaints filed with the Sheriff’s Office.

This active review of the investigation by IOLERO may include suggestions designed to ensure the particular investigation is more complete and unbiased, and is completed in a timely manner.

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, IOLERO will inform the Sheriff’s Office if it disagrees with the findings of the Sheriff’s Office and/or has concerns about the investigation process. IOLERO will attempt to resolve differences with the Sheriff’s Office over these issues, such as by requesting additional investigation or a reconsideration of the findings of the investigation.

Should no agreement be reached, the Sheriff’s Office will notify the complainant of its findings. IOLERO will notify the complainant whether it agrees with the findings of the Sheriff’s Office’s investigation, as well as whether IOLERO believes that the investigation was conducted in a thorough, unbiased, and timely manner.

Below is a visual diagram showing this process.

Complaint Diagram

Enlarged version of the Complaint Process

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
38.4620056, -122.7275725
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