How to Officially Commend or Complain about the Performance of a South Portland Police Department Employee

As a means of maintaining both police performance and police / community relations, the South Portland Police Department encourages citizen feedback on the department's performance or the actions of its members.

Commending Superior Performance:

To commend the actions of a South Portland Police Department employee, you can:

  • Call the department (207-799-5511, Option 3 or 207-874-8575) and speak with the on-duty Shift Commander, to whom you can verbally communicate your praise; or,
  • Write a letter or email to the Chief of Police explaining your praise.

Chief Daniel J. Ahern
South Portland Police Department
30 Anthoine Street
South Portland, Maine  04106

Commendations received by the Chief of Police for any South Portland Police Department employee result in the employee being advised of your kindness and gratitude and a permanent record of the employee's actions and your appreciation in the employee's personnel file. Depending on the situation, the employee could be considered for the other department or community awards recognition.

When you have a Question or Complaint:

The South Portland Police Department is committed to providing the best possible police service.  Citizen cooperation and input is essential if the department is to achieve this goal.  If you have question or complaint about any specific action taken by the department or any of its members, or if you have a recommendation on how we can improve police services, you can:

  • Visit or call the department (207-799-5511, Option 3 or 207-874-8575) and speak with the on-duty Shift Commander.
  • If the matter concerns investigations, records or dispatch, e-mail the Deputy Police Chief or call 207-799-5511 Ext 7429
  • E-mail the Chief of Police or call at 799-5516 Ext 7-7230.

Your questions or recommendations can also be mailed to the Chief of Police at the above address.

Filing a Complaint:

The South Portland Police Department accepts and investigates all complaints against members of the agency.  Similar to commending an employee, complaints will be accepted in person (preferred), or by telephone, mail or email.  A complaint is considered any allegation of misconduct, which, if true, would be a violation of law, or agency policy, directive or standard operating procedure. 

When filing a complaint, you will be referred to the on-duty shift commander, either a lieutenant or sergeant, who is responsible for reviewing and processing all complaints in accordance with established protocols.  At other times, these discussions with the shift commander allow for explanation regarding police policy and procedures that sometimes lead to a better understanding of the employee’s perspective and actions.  When a complaint is accepted, you will be given a signed receipt indicating that your complaint has been received by the department.

All complaints involving violations of department regulation will be accepted, recorded and properly investigated. You will be contacted by the assigned investigator or a supervisor for any additional information or clarification and in order to arrange for a formal interview, if necessary.

While the South Portland Police Department does encourage citizens to file complaints, the complaints must be made in good faith.  You will be asked to sign an acknowledgement stating that you understand the consequences of filing a false complaint.  Should the investigation reveal that a complainant or witness made statements known or believed to be false, the department may pursue criminal charges against that person. 

Once Internal Affairs has conducted an investigation and gathered sufficient facts concerning your allegation, the matter will be presented to the Chief of Police, who will determine whether or not the employee violated any law or department policies, rules or regulations.  The Chief of Police will determine what action, if any, should be taken to address any violations or resolve the complaint.  All complaints will be reviewed for indications of ways we can improve polices, procedures, or training.  You will receive notification from the Chief of Police, regardless of the outcome.