File a Complaint about the Sheriff’s Office
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Equipo de IOLERO
You may file a complaint about the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office (“SCSO”) by submitting the online complaint form linked below. A copy of your completed complaint form will be emailed to you. If you are unable to complete the form online, please contact our office for assistance at (707) 565-1534.
Anonymous Complaints. If you choose, you may file your complaint with IOLERO anonymously by leaving the “Your Information” and “Your Contact Information” sections on the first page of the complaint form blank and instead writing the word “ANONYMOUS” in the box listed for “last name”. IOLERO will provide the anonymous complaint to the SCSO for investigation. If you file the complaint anonymously, you should still provide an email address to which you want IOLERO’s communications to be sent (it can be a third party email address). If you choose to not provide any email address, IOLERO will be unable to provide a copy of the complaint to you or follow up with you in the event additional information is needed to process or investigate the complaint.
The Complaint Process
If a community member feels that an employee of the SCSO acted improperly, they may file a complaint.
Complaints 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 by the SCSO. If the SCSO’s administrative investigation determines that a policy or procedure was violated, it may result in disciplinary action. Administrative investigations are separate from an investigation of criminal charges when a deputy is suspected of violating the law. Potential criminal 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 SCSO - 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 SCSO 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 SCSO are different and may not be sent to IOLERO for an audit. To learn more about the complaint process, please see our Annual Reports found here: http://sonomacounty.ca.gov/IOLERO/Annual-Reports/.