If a community member feels that an employee of the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office (“SCSO” or “Sheriff’s Office”) acted improperly, a complaint may be filed.
Complaints filed based on inappropriate conduct are reviewed to determine if the deputy/employee violated a Sheriff’s policy or procedure. Once the complaint is received, an administrative investigation is initiated. If the administrative investigation determines that a policy or procedure was violated, the result is personnel action. Administrative investigations are separate from an investigation of criminal charges when a deputy is suspected of violating the law. Potential violations of law are reviewed by the District Attorney’s office not IOLERO.
Administrative complaints about deputy conduct such as excessive force, search and seizure violations, biased policing, dishonesty and sexual assault can be filed through IOLERO or the SCSO. Depending on where the complaint is filed – at IOLERO or the Sheriff’s Office - it will end up on one of two different tracks. If you want to ensure your complaint is audited by IOLERO, you must file your complaint with IOLERO.
Complaints may be filed through IOLERO either online, through the mail, over the phone or in person. When a complaint is filed through IOLERO, it is reviewed to ensure that all pertinent information is received.
Once the complaint is finalized, it is submitted to the Internal Affairs Unit (IA) at the Sheriff’s Office for an administrative investigation. When Internal Affairs completes its investigation, the case is sent to IOLERO for an audit. When a complaint originates at IOLERO, it will always be returned to IOLERO for an audit regardless of the basis of the complaint. Complaints made to the Sheriff’s Office are different and may not be sent to IOLERO for an audit. To learn more about the complaint process, please see our 2019-2020 Annual Report here: http://sonomacounty.ca.gov/IOLERO/Annual-Reports/